Yesterday morning, I spoke on contentment at our Wednesday morning Bible study. The whole concept of contentment is a big one and so I have a lot of thoughts roaming around in my head this morning. The Apostle Paul wrote, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” (Philippians 4:12) And, in his letter to Timothy, Paul wrote, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Timothy 6:6)
At the end of our Bible study yesterday, a friend raised the question, “How do we cultivate contentment, live in the present, but at the same time nurture our dreams and not live in the future?” What a great question! I have some thoughts. God is the originator of dreams. I believe as we praise and delight in Him, He often plants dreams and desires in our hearts that will glorify Him. (Psalm 37:4) When God plants those desires in our hearts, it’s easy to get so excited about what He is going to do that we live always in tomorrow. We might even entertain thoughts like, “I’ll be happy when…..” or, “I’ll be so fulfilled when…….” The problem with both those statements is that God wants us to cultivate contentment in the present. He invites us to savor the present and trust HIm with the future. So how do we do this? Here are some suggestions that have helped me:
- Write down the dream. My journal is filled with dreams that I feel God has given me. Some of the dreams God has fulfilled in my life, while others I am still waiting for. When I write down an idea that I think is from God it allows me to watch and see if God keeps speaking the same idea. If it’s God’s idea – you can trust that He will keep speaking it to you!
- Praise Him in advance for what He will do. There is amazing power when we choose to praise God by faith in advance for what He will do.
- Prepare for where God is calling. In other words, if you believe that God is calling you to begin witnessing more to your neighbors, begin to prepare for the calling by learning how to articulate the gospel more clearly. Or, if you believe God is calling you to go on a short term missions trip, prepare by researching opportunities overseas. Talk with others who have gone on short term mission trips.
- Savor the present. Even as you prepare, savor the present by living fully attentive to God in the here and now. Don’t waste the preciousness of today by living in the dreams of tomorrow. Live in today but celebrate that you can trust God to accomplish all that He has called you to tomorrow!
I would love your thoughts! Please leave a comment. I’ll choose one name of those who leave comments and give away a contemporary worship CD. Comment away!