Interim Pastor Bill Johnston continues with his “More of What Matters” message series. Even though disappointment is a part of life, we have a choice about how we handle it. God’s way is to face our circumstances with an eye on contentment and satisfaction – not that all circumstances are good, but that, in the midst of them, we can discover that God is.
MORE OF WHAT MATTERS: MORE CONTENTMENT IN THE PRESENT
Message by Bill Johnston – May 13, 2018
Disappointment: “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations”
“Disappointment is the gap between expectations and reality.” John Maxwell
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT CONTENTMENT
A. CONTENTMENT IS LEARNED
Philippians 4:11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
Content = “self-sufficiency, having enough. The word indicates independence of external circumstances … it refers to an inward thing.”
CONTENTMENT APPLIES TO TWO MAIN AREAS OF LIFE:
1) CONTENTMENT WITH WHATEVER YOU HAVE
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
“Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.” (Doris Mortman)
1 Timothy 6:6-8 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
2) CONTENTMENT WITH WHATEVER YOU FACE
Philippians 4:12b … I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
2 Corinthians 6:8-10 We serve God whether people honour us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NASB) Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
B. CONTENTMENT IS A DEEPLY HELD CONVICTION
Philippians 4:12a I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.
2 Timothy 1:11-12 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
C. CONTENTMENT IS NOT SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH AS IT IS ABOUT WHO IS WITH YOU ALONG THE WAY
Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Contentment is taking your present situation—whatever obstacle you are facing, whatever limitation you are living with, whatever chronic condition wears you down, whatever has smashed your dreams, whatever factors and circumstances in life tend to push you under—and admitting you don’t like it but never saying, ‘I can’t cope with it.’ “You may feel distress, but you may never feel despair. You may feel pressed down, but you may never feel defeated. Paul says there are unlimited resources, and as soon as you cay ‘I can’t cope,’ you are failing to draw on these resources that Christ has readily, by His loving-kindness, made available to you. Contentment, therefore, is being confident that you measure up to any test you face because Christ has made His strength available within you.” (John Maxwell)
Ecclesiastes 2:25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
My circumstances are not the point; my perspective is the point.
Contentment is knowing you have all you need for the present circumstances.
D. CONTENTMENT IS INSPIRED IN US IN TWO WAYS
1) BY THE CONCERN AND ACTIONS OF OTHERS
Philippians 4:10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me.
Philippians 4:14-17 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this.Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.
2) BY THE CARE AND PROVISION OF GOD
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
E. THE ESSENCE OF CONTENTMENT: HAVING ENOUGH
Philippians 4:18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.
TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO TO NURTURE CONTENTMENT IN YOUR LIFE
1. BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE – A HEART OF GRATITUDE
2. TRUST GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED – A HEART OF FAITH