When one is content, he is satisfied. His heart is happy, even full. Discontentment, on the other hand, as one author says, “is life’s thief.” It robs you of happiness, peace and satisfaction.
We think about what we don’t have. Sometimes, we are obsessed day and night – wanting but not having. And when we get what we want, like a new home or a job promotion, we soon find ourselves wanting more, again.
When we are not content, it’s really hard to be thankful. In our hearts, we think, ‘I want more; I deserve better.’ We become envious, greedy and jealous of others. The real problem is our heart, isn’t it? It’s not content. Our thirst is never quenched it seems, and our hunger is never satisfied.
Because God made us for Himself. He made us to find our satisfaction in Him. Because of sin, our relationship with God is broken. The result is that we try to find our happiness and contentment outside of God. But nothing in the world will satisfy our hearts!
We need God. And only Christ restores our relationship with God – that is, for all who believe on Him as the perfect sacrifice for their sins. The contentment God gives in Jesus rescues desire from envy, discontent and greed. It rescues desire from serving self to serving Him and others; it rescues desire from grasping, to desire to give; it rescues desire from clinging to what this world has, to desire to fix our eyes on the eternal inheritance to come which Christ has gained for all who believe on Him.
Contentment does not kill all desire. The gift of contentment does not exclude personal aspirations, ambition, and working hard to get ahead in life. But it rescues us from discontentment.
I remember when I was in 7th grade. Our class learned to do ‘perspective art.’ In this class, we learned how to draw pictures in perspective. I remember drawing a train track. My train track, however, lacked perspective. Instead of a train track gradually narrowing into the distance, my track looked like an upright ladder.
Similarly, if we are obsessed with the things of this life, it blinds us to the perspective of reality. For all who trust in Christ, there is much more. The grave is not where life ends for the believer. The grave is the point where we go to be with Christ – forever. Therefore, already now, the heart is experiencing fullness!