I had no idea writing about finding contentment in Christ would be so difficult.
I originally thought, “Oh, this will be an easy and encouraging topic to write about.”
Oh, how wrong I was.
JC Ryle is so right when he said, “Contentment is the rarest of graces.”
Discontentment is utterly sinful. I didn’t realize how wicked it truly was until I wrote 6 Sins of Discontentment. It was shocking to realize what my complaining is actually saying to and about God. I had to take several breaks while writing that article just from the crushing conviction I was under. It was hard. It was a blessed hardness, but difficult, nonetheless.
Then I moved on to Contentment in God’s Providence and Christ’s Ever-Flowing Fountain. This week was going to return to the encouragement, it was going to be much happier, it was going to be easy. And, to a point, it was. It is always glorious to consider God’s providence and Christ’s provision. However, a few things happened in the week prior that really put a picture in my mind of suffering.
First, the new reports and videos of the Syrians who had been gassed. The people gasping their last breaths, the man weeping with his two dead twins in his arms, the man telling how he came home to find his entire family (wife, children, extended family members) all dead. On Good Friday, stories of ISIS had bombing two Coptic churches in Egypt began to pop up. Many worshipers had been killed and even more injured in the blasts. The next day, I read an article that North Korea had put over eighty to death by gun fire for simply being in possession of a Bible.
These are not unusual occurrences. We hear of wars, cruel regimes, terrorist attacks, persecution, and death every day. But when you are writing about being content in every circumstance, you start to think of situations like these.
It is easy to say, “Yeah, I shouldn’t be discontent in my not having a better car, money to take a European vacation, remodel my kitchen, etc…” But it is another story all-together to see the man holding his two dead children, the mother who’s ten year old daughter that has been raped and killed, the child who has just been orphaned. That is almost impossible. How can a person be content in those situations?
While it is true that even in these unimaginable situations, we are called to be content, that is where things truly take on a new level.
The truth is we do have very difficult times. Some people have even greater tragedy than most of us could ever imagine. Heartache, mourning, deep, soul wrenching pain is not sinful. Those are reactions to living in a Genesis 3 world. There is nothing wrong with mourning. Even Jesus wept when His friend died (John 11:35).
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
As Christians, we have hope beyond this life. We weep for our friends and family, we weep for our own loss, we weep for those we may have never met, but Christians have hope. Our hope is in Christ and His promises.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
What a glorious day that will be!
Regarding Revelation 21:4, Matthew Henry writes:
“This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow; for, 1. All the effects of former trouble shall be done away. They have been often before in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but now all tears shall be wiped away; no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain, any further than to make their present felicity the greater. God himself, as their tender Father, with his own kind hand, shall wipe away the tears of his children; and they would not have been without those tears when God shall come and wipe them away. 2. All the causes of future sorrow shall be for ever removed: There shall be neither death nor pain; and therefore no sorrow nor crying; these are things incident to that state in which they were before, but now all former things have passed away.”
This is the hope we have to look forward to.
The world may be crashing down around us and we see no way of ever surviving the pain, but our hope is in Another.
Our hope, our joy, our peace, our contentment is found only in Christ.
Throughout April, we have been studying Finding Contentment in Christ. Contentment is a rare grace but one sought after by everyone. Discontentment is a sin that is so naturally pervasive and invasive that there is no one who isn’t riddled with it. Only Christ has the answer; only Christ has the cure.
If you would like to join us as we study the Scripture to find our contentment in Christ, you can download a free copy of the April Scripture Writing Plan by subscribing to the A Narrow-Minded Woman Newsletter using the form below. After you confirm your subscription, I will send you the link to the download library. There you may download this Scripture writing plan along with several other free downloads I offer. We would also love to have you join us in the Facebook group.