By Brooke Holt
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” - Psalm 16:5-8
David seems to have mastered the art of contentment. What is this contentment, and is it available to us today? Merriam-Webster defines contentment as “the state of being happy or satisfied.” How many people do you know who live a life of contentment? People who are happy with their work and enjoy their marriages and their children. These are the people who live a healthy lifestyle but are not perpetually on a diet or improvement regimen. I know so few people who truly exhibit or live out this definition.
As Christians, are we to be content in this world? Throughout the pages of Scripture, we read that we are not to love this world or find our satisfaction here. We are in the “now but not yet times,” awaiting our Savior to come again. When he comes, he will make all things new, and we will come into our true home. As the writer of Hebrews said, “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). Or, as C.S. Lewis wrote, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” (from Mere Christianity).
There is a natural and godly yearning for the kingdom of God in its fullness. Until then, we must keep our eyes on the Lord and ask him to teach us to live faithfully in this temporary home. So, can we live here on this earth in contentment? David seemed to do so. Throughout psalm 16, David modelled how we are to do this. First, he acknowledges that there are challenges in this world, and there is one safe refuge – God alone.
With God as his refuge, David finds a godly contentment as the Lord is his provider in all things. David sees the providential hand of God in all aspects of his life. God is the one who has provided David’s land and home; God is the one who has called David to serve him; God is the one who has assured David of his eternal inheritance; lastly, God is the one who guides and instructs David in his daily life. David looks to him whether he is walking, working, or praying as he sees that the Lord is always before him.
With that trust in God’s providential order and provision, David lives a contented life before his King and his God. It doesn’t mean that all is right around him. Instead, it means that all is right within him because God sits on the throne of his life. Trusting in God’s kingship allows David to trust in what God is doing and will do. Is that true for you? Is God sitting on the throne of your life, and are you trusting in his providential order? If you are lacking contentment, maybe it is time to consider who sits on the throne of your life.
Are you looking for contentment in this world or in the providential order and provision of God? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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