The word content, as an adjective, means to be in a state of peaceful happiness. To be perfectly honest, I read that and laughed out loud. The “peaceful” part is what brought the chuckle, because peaceful seems like such a distant concept for my life right now. Beyond the shrieks and shrills of my loud children, I live a life of instability, financial insecurity, and constant juggling of work-life balance. Peaceful is not a word I would use to describe my life. And yet, that is the definition of the word. And it’s also something that God’s Word calls us to be.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
These verses were penned by the Apostle Paul, who was imprisoned, beaten, mocked, butted heads with other Christ-followers in ministry, wasn’t rich, moved around a lot, and was called to confront others who were making bad choices in the church. According to him, he “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” despite it all. Thankfully, he didn’t keep it to himself. He tells us the secret:
We can do all THIS through him who gives us strength.
“This” means life. We can do life through him who gives us strength. Life is hard. There are so many things we want that we think will make us peacefully happy. More money, financial security, work stability, more kids, to stop moving around and put down roots, for our kids to stop doing [insert annoying, inconvenient thing here], to have more friends, get the degree, the next big promotion, for our kids to just get to the next stage of life already.
The list goes on and on. And “the list” gets passed along to our children. They see that we aren’t content with what God has given us and they model our behavior and attitude. Are you a worrier? Your kids will be too. Are you a complainer? Listen to their words and you’ll likely here the same. Momma, you are one of, if not THE biggest influence in their life. We must be obedient to Christ and be moms that are content in every situation. Both to glorify God and to guide our children to model Christ.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Our mom life brings out our weakness (big time), brings insults from others, brings hardships we never thought we’d face, persecution for not “doing it right,” and difficulties in almost every area of life. Life is messy and exhausting. But God’s grace is pure and simple. It is sufficient for us and his power is made perfect in our weakness. So let’s embrace it!
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Bow your head and confess your discontent to God. Are you unhappy with your home? Your family income? Your church? Your kids’ development? Whatever it is, confess it and lean on God’s grace to bring contentment. Use the verses from this devotional to pray over your circumstances. These are also great verses to memorize so you have the reminder in your heart wherever you go.
Make an effort to make “godliness with contentment” a part of your legacy.