Recently I read about a cemetery in England where a husband and wife were buried next to one another. The inscription on the wife’s grave read, “She died for want of things,” while the inscription on the husband’s said, “He died trying to give them to her.”
You may laugh, but contentment and discontentment are a malady that we all struggle with. It’s a daily challenge to stay content when there are pressures all around us telling us why we should be discontent. In fact, advertisers spend millions of dollars coming up with ideas on how to make you discontent with what you have so that you’ll buy their product and live “happily ever after.”
Unfortunately, contentment is not something you can buy. Contentment is something you must learn, one circumstance at a time. It’s an attitude you must choose over and over again. Many of us have been duped into thinking that if we could just change who we are, where we live, who we know, and what we do for a living, we would become content. That could not be further from the truth.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he connects the secret of contentment with the strength he receives from Christ. He writes, “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:12). What is that secret? Paul shares what that is in the next verse, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” What Paul discovered is something people pursue their whole lives and oftentimes, never find—the real source of happiness.
When God’s Spirit lives in you, He infuses you with His power so that you can be content in any circumstance. The more you and I are plugged into the life-giving flow of God, the more content we’ll be. Our connection to God is everything, which is why those who don’t know the saving power of Christ struggle to find real joy in their lives. No amount of money, accolades, prestige, or degrees will ultimately make someone happy, because contentment isn’t based on what you have or don’t have.
Learn the secret of contentment in your life today when you click the link below to listen.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated graduation at Moody Bible Institute. Our downtown campus was alive with parents, grandparents, friends, and of course, the graduates who are equipped to launch out and be lights for the gospel wherever God sends them. I’m deeply encouraged by so many of these graduates that I’ve gotten to know. Their stories, challenges, dreams, callings, and genuine hearts have stirred me. They will be missed on our campus, but I look forward to hearing their new stories of God at work in and through them in the years to come.
Mark Jobe serves as president of Moody Bible Institute and host of Moody Radio's Bold Steps. He is the author of Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call (Moody Publishers). He is also the founding pastor of New Life Community Church, a Chicago-based ministry with 27 locations throughout Chicago. Mark earned a diploma from Moody in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children.
Bold Steps with Dr. Mark Jobe takes you on the path to freedom and authenticity in Christ. With candid, topical teaching from God’s Word, Dr. Jobe offers simple gospel messages with the power to transform your life.