I am posting a day early this week. Why you ask? Well, there is this little football game going on tomorrow night and I wanted to go eat some wings with a friend and watch it- so here we are. Hey, even writers have to watch some football. In any case, I am not sure that I could have put this one off another night anyway. It is such a relevant issue to so many of us and it is something that we need to desperately get a hold of if we ever hope to gain a foothold in the climb that is following Christ. So many people, good people, suffer from this mistake in their lives- some intentionally, many unintentionally. I am talking about our constant search for contentment in our lives. We seemingly place ourselves on an endless journey in hopes that we will make the Columbus like discovery that will alter the course of our lives and ultimately lead to our complete and total contentment. The problem lies in the fact that we are searching for a contentment that the world can not offer. So, if you are are not a believer in Christ, or you are a Christian looking for a contentment that seemingly alludes you, take heart in the fact that the search is over- Christ is all you need and He will be all you will EVER need. Here are some things that I believe lure us into that endless search for something that can only be found in Christ our Lord.
The first thing that we must understand, and the most difficult thing to swallow in all of this is that we were not meant to control our lives here. That is right, I said it. YOUR LIFE IS NOT YOUR OWN! Once you decide to invite Jesus into your life as your personal Lord and Savior, your life becomes about complete and total service of Him and His purpose. I can not count how many times I have been chastised for saying this. I have been criticized for making Christianity sound unappealing. I think we don’t say this enough. The point is that following Christ is hard, hard work. There will be times you will be persecuted for following Christ. There are people around the world being beaten and tortured; and yes there are people who are even losing their lives for the cause of Christ. Luke 9:23 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says, “If any man should come after me, he should deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” This description is more than just saying a few magic words at an alter call or at VBS. When we accept Him, we are purposed in Christ with the mission of spreading the Gospel to any and all people around the world- wherever your “world” may be. So, you may ask, where is the contentment in this? Well, that’s the thing, the contentment comes in the fact that while this world may be nothing but trails, hard times, and bumps in the road- you were not meant for this world.
This brings me to my next point- learn to let go of this world. We cling to it like a security blanket. When you are a follower of Christ, death should be the farthest worry from your mind because you are not a citizen of this world. Sure, it’s okay to enjoy life here, as long as you maintain the purpose given to you in Christ, but unlike what some other “evangelists” will tell you, your best life is NOT now. I know that our sinful, human nature makes this a hard reality or even concept, but if all we hold onto is what this world has to offer, what purpose does our lives serve? Like I said before, we are purposed in Christ to further his Kingdom while we are here through whatever abilities God sees fit to bless us with. The true tragedy, in my opinion, are those out there that have been blinded by a false truth that tells them this life is all there is and all there ever will be. How depressing it must be to believe that when we die, that’s it- lights out. Some have told me that holding on to a faith that subscribes to a silly superstition is sad; but I believe it takes more faith to look out the window and say that all of that created beauty was just an accident- I don’t have that kind of faith. I can’t wake up each and every day, look outside at the magnificence of creation and say that there is no God. It is such a comfort knowing that all around us is indisputable evidence of my creator. This world is NOT all that we have and it can not offer us what we need to be content.
Paul understood, probably better than anybody the struggle to find contentment. He spent the first parts of his adult life persecuting the same faith that would later martyr him. He spent most of his ministry traveling or in jail, all because of his faith. Paul understood the truth of contentment and the truth of how we should view our lives. It was Paul who, in his letter to the Philippians, told them that “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). Only the man who has discovered the secret of contentment, could view dying as a gain- and so should we. We do not need this world, its vices, or temptations. We don’t need its money, plaudits, promotions, or accolades. What we need is what many of us already have- a relationship with Christ; and those that don’t, only simply need to ask Christ into their life and actively follow Him to be saved. Paul gave us the secret to contentment in that same letter to the Philippians when he wrote:
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me.You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
The point Paul is trying to make is that God has no limits, but we do. We should choose His limitless blessings and stop searching for worldly things that leave us empty, broken, and unfulfilled. Author C.S. Lewis summed it up best when he said:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Be content knowing that the search is over- CHRIST IS ENOUGH!!
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach