Seeking Contentment

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 6:31-32 ESV

Jesus summarizes his teaching on anxiety in this verse with a reminder to not be anxious about our food, drink, or clothing. The anxiousness that Jesus is talking about is further clarified in the next sentence by stating that the Gentiles seek after these things. It is the fixation of our hearts and minds on material objects over and above the spiritual realities and Jesus himself that is the source of our anxiousness. We worry and stress about our physical comforts and needs, when all the while our heavenly Father knows that we have need of these things. Our stress and our anxiousness are a reflection of our continuing struggle with contentment and trust. Our anxiety is a hazard light raising the alarm that something is not quite right in our hearts. Our anxiety is an important indicator of the current state of our faith and trust in our heavenly Father who loves us, cares for us, and provides for all we need and have in this world.

This is difficult in many different practical areas of my life. Anxiety is running rampant in my heart and mind at the moment and it is easy to give in to the subtle lies that are whispered in my mind. Whispers that point out all the many difficulties in the current circumstances. Whispers of financial doubts and concerns. Whispers of needing and wanting more. Whispers of envious thoughts. Lies that want me to forget the goodness and kindness of my heavenly Father. Lies that tell me to go and make it “right.” Lies that push me to grab hold of the answers I already know and make it happen in my own strength and ability. These are the lies of the enemy that would draw me away from Jesus. Lies that would see me wander from the loving kindness of my Savior.

The path that lies before me is the path that my Father has set before me for my good. My heavenly Father knows that I don’t currently have the resources to meet all the needs that are arising in life. He knows that these needs are a source of struggle that inevitably brings anxiousness into my heart. The question isn’t how do I relive the current pressures and sources of anxiety in my life, but rather how can I be content in any and every situation? How can I take the knowledge and understanding that my heavenly Father is the sovereign ruler over everything and live with a humble contented trust in Him alone for all my needs?

Practically speaking, I have all the necessary knowledge and understanding needed for every situation. My theology is not the problem. My problem is the day-to-day, moment-by-moment choosing to trust and rest in the goodness of my heavenly Father. I have come to understand that I often make poor choices in my life, even when I have all the correct information in my mind. My theology and the Bible itself speak to me and remind me of the truth about God, but my heart becomes anxious and I choose to ignore the truth and seek after temporary pleasures and fleeting resources believing they will satisfy and calm my anxious heart.

Jesus is reminding me that these temporal earthly pleasures can never bring me true contentment and satisfaction. Contentment and satisfaction are only found in God alone through Jesus. He is the true object and source of my seeking. He is the giver of all good things. He is the provider of all that I have and need. I can rest in humble contentment with where he has me at any moment of time. For wherever I am in this world regardless of the circumstance, Jesus is there with me for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health. Jesus will love me, Jesus will cherish me, and Jesus will never depart from me.

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