True Contentment is Only Found in God
Bradon: Jon, Have you ever been asked a question so hard to answer that it changed your entire life?
Jon: Well, I didn’t think so… but it really seems like you have big expectations for this question here… so maybe this question?
Bradon: Not totally what I am getting at… BUT we will hear a story in our coming episode about how one question changed my life!
About the Story
Bradon: Okay, So… after all my Googling and reading definitions, I figured out I had a better grasp on this idea than maybe I had originally thought. I remembered a few years ago; I really struggled with this idea… So I spent a good amount of time thinking it through and having some good conversations about it with some close people… most likely, Jon, you, and I spoke at length about this a few years back. This was all brought about by one BIG question a friend had asked me. This question kind of changed my whole life… He asked me whether or not I was content… That was a challenging thing to answer… and even to this day, I struggle with it sometimes.
Jon: I remember this time for you. If I remember correctly, it was to do with some of your bigger life choices… or being unsure of what you wanted to do after you graduated?
Bradon: Exactly, This would have been around the first time I volunteered at Covenant Bay! Pretty Cool Stuff. We were so young and hip back then…
Jon: Sooo Young and Hip… those are exactly the words I would use for us back then.
Bradon: Well, through our conversations and a good amount of time, I remember turning a corner on my understanding of contentment that summer.
I realized, and I think this is a pretty BIg claim… that True Contentment is only found in God.
Jon: Wow, That is a Big claim. I sure hope you can back that up!
Bradon: Well, I don’t think I can. But I do think the Bible can. Jon, would you read 1 John 2: 15 – 17
1 John 2: 15-17
Jon: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Bradon: Awesome, Thanks.
Okay, so track with me for a minute. In this passage, I think it doesn’t directly tell us that True contentment is only found in God, but I think that it shows or tells us rather where we do NOT find contentment. Which by this passage would be in the things of the world, our worldly desires or focuses.
Jon: Interesting! Our worldly desires or focuses being things like a career, car, house, relationship, all of the above!
Bradon: Exactly, and certainly, sometimes these things bring us fulfillment and joy; I think this is why we need to remember this passage. Because it is so easy to get caught up in the things we really enjoy!
Jon: It’s so easy. Let me make sure I have this right. Mowing what you are growing, if you will.
Even something that brings me soo much joy, like family or ministry, can become a distraction or a thing of this world if I am placing it in the place of my relationship with God?
Bradon: Correct. And I think this is where the idea of Contentment comes in.
I have often heard of the things of this world talked about as completely sinful or all bad. I have a hard time believing this. God made this world, created us in His image. So It doesn’t seem likely that everything in the world can be bad.
I find it much more likely than the things of this world. Good or bad, sinful or not, are fleeting or momentary compared to the everlasting nature of God.
Jon, once again, can I get you to read something for me?
Would you read Isaiah 40: 28 & 29
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak
Bradon: It is for sure! I think we have all been here before! Times where we have hoped to find contentment within the things of this world. But I think this is what the passage in 1 John is warning us about.
The contentment that we find in a relationship and life with God, the everlasting God, is unlike ANYTHING we can find here on earth.
Jon: Even those things here on earth might be awesome! And fun! Eventually, those emotions and feelings will pass, and we will be forced to move onto the next thing If we are only seeking out contentment within our world and not through God.
Bradon: I think you have got it!
Jon: So the worldly things are like a rollercoaster, ups and downs, highs and lows.
Bradon: Correct, and God has created the world to be that, the ups and downs. Joys and sorrows. Those are really important to who we are. But when we have contentment in God, at least how I see it, we can recognize that there is an underlying peace, direction, or certainty to our life; this, I think, is felt in the form of contentment.
Jon: So no matter what type of day I am having, up or down, awesome or not, If I understand and know who I am in God, there is contentment.
Bradon: Good and Bad feelings come and go. Emotions are fleeting; they never last forever. But who we are in God, who He has created us to be, and His love for us is eternal!
We find True Contentment only in God. It is a big claim but I believe it to be true!
Jon: I think what you are saying is that True Contentment, the kind we receive through our relationship with God, is separate from the emotions of each day. Or exists regardless of those emotions.
Bradon: Good clarification. I can feel great, or I can feel pretty lousy, but when my contentment isn’t tied to the fleeting, temporary things of this world and tied rather to the everlasting, all-powerful God, even in the lousy, I can feel content!