Have you ever noticed that people who are content with life have a contagious positivity? They seem to have a deep well of joy and an undercurrent of peace running through their souls. What’s their secret? I believe contentment begins with a few good choices.
Even though life is challenging, contentment is an attitude that God wants developed in our lives. It is His will that you be content. The great news is that contentment is an attitude that can be learned with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). The incredible thing about those words is that Paul wrote about contentment in prison. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to feel content in a jail cell. But Paul had learned to make some choices in the secret places of his heart that helped him cultivate contentment wherever he was.
Here Are 5 Choices You Can Make:
Choose to praise and thank God. Life happens – and sometimes it’s frustrating. Instead of complaining, try praising God for who He is. Think of the character traits of God and spend some time praising Him for His Almighty character. Or make a “thankful list” and write down the good gifts that God has given you. David wrote, “I will praise you as long as I live” (Psalm 63:4).
Start singing! Yup, you read that correctly. Bust out some tunes in your car or bellow out a song in the shower. Don’t worry if you can’t carry a tune – God hears in perfect pitch. He loves your singing! On top of that, it will brighten your mood. It’s amazing how singing can cultivate a deep satisfaction in your soul. David wrote, “I sing in the shadow of your wings” (Ps 63:7).
Do something nice for someone. Several years ago, I was feeling discouraged and a bit dissatisfied. I went to the grocery store and felt heavy hearted. When I went through the check-out line, I noticed the lady in front of me was elderly and fumbling for her wallet. As she fumbled, I handed the cashier my credit card and said to the elderly woman, “Ma’am, please, let me buy your groceries.” As I paid, I felt instantly encouraged! This week, try doing something nice for someone—you’ll see an instant uplift in your mood!
Memorize a verse or two. When life feels difficult, you can refocus your thoughts on God by rehearsing His Word. David writes in Psalm 63:6, “I think of you through the watches of the night.” If you have a few good verses memorized, you don’t have to turn on the light in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. Instead, rehearse the verses in your mind and re-focus your brain on the goodness of God’s Word.
At the end of each day, remember the good and give thanks. Every night at dinner, Steve and I record the three top blessings of each of our days. By remembering the good ways God has blessed us, we can sink into a restful sleep rather than obsessing on what went wrong that day. In Psalm 77:11, Asaph wrote, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember the miracles.” Every day is filled with tiny miracles. If you don’t take the time to pause and reflect on those, you’ll miss the opportunity to cultivate contentment.
Steve and I are in Florida. We’re spending our days writing, getting caught up on planning and message preparation, and visiting friends of Reach Beyond. It’s been amazing – almost like a couple’s retreat for just us!
Praise God that Steve and I got the book turned in on time!
Praise God for the answers to prayer we’ve seen recently within our Reach Beyond family.
Praise God for some time away to reflect, plan, pray, and write!