An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.”

(Jeremiah 31:14)

The Bible’s moral commands reflect an ethical standard so high, so unattainable by human effort alone, it cannot have originated in the mind of man. “Love your enemies,” said the Lord, “do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28). We can imagine that, through human self-effort, a person may manage to shut off his emotions and numb himself to the crimes committed against him. We can conceive of a person managing this much in order not to curse his enemies and wish evil upon them. But actively and sincerely loving an enemy that is gleefully victimizing us is another story. This we cannot hope to do without special, supernatural help. Our Lord not only had the mental strength and moral purity to do what he commands of us (Luke 23:34), He stands ready to give us what we need to fulfill His moral commands as well (Hebrews 4:14-16). We see a similar thing when it comes to contentment. The Book of Ecclesiastes is a discourse on the futility of temporal pursuits. The fads and crazes the world under the sun offers us can at best only distract and entertain us temporarily. Soon the novelty is gone and we find ourselves in search of something else that will satisfy our inner craving for the moment. Solomon reached the conclusion that nothing in the world under the sun can truly satisfy us, and this with good reason. All that is on the earth is transient, fleeting, and temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18). Our spirits long for more; we crave eternal peace and everlasting satisfaction. Paul understood this well. He was very candid with the believers in Philippi when he wrote of his “desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). Even so, the same writer encouraged believers everywhere to adopt his attitude of contentment in whatever situation they may find themselves in (Philippians 4:11-13). “Let your conversation [conduct] be without covetousness,” instructed the writer to the Hebrews, “and be content with such things as ye have” (Hebrews 13:5a). We can imagine shutting off our emotions so that, in zombie-like fashion, we refrain from despising our difficult circumstances. What we cannot manage, on our own strength and without reference to God, is genuine contentment in all circumstances. Contentment comes when we understand that even though our fallen world cannot provide lasting peace and satisfaction, it is nevertheless the vestibule through which we must go to reach that promised blessed state. Looking ahead to that glorious day, we may sing praises already in print: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

May God bless and give you contentment today,

Pastor John