September 17, 2014

Secret of Contentment

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 17, 2014

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him [Christ] who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Discontentment can be dangerous. It can drive us to hasty decisions or unwise actions we later regret. A desire to be someone we’re not, a wish to be somewhere we don’t need to be or a motivation to have something not ours–can easily derail our life. Why let our discontentment obsess over the thrill of the chase, when contentment patiently waits on the joy of all Jesus has for us. Contentment has a way of cleansing our motives. It moves us closer to Christ’s heart.

Contentment is the ability to endure hardships or handle prosperity. If we are never satisfied, always in want of a little bit more, we are set up for disappointment. More relationships, more stuff or more opportunities only complicate and confuse our life, if they become the object of our affections. Or, we may struggle under the weight of adversity. It can crush our contentment unless we see God at work where we are unable to work. Contentment grows our trust in Jesus.

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12).

Paul understood the fruit of contentment. He was a work in progress, but by God’s grace he had progressed. He used hard times to better understand the heart of God. While in jail, he started the first jail ministry and he penned profound words of truth. Contentment was the canvas of his life on which  the Lord painted His beautiful masterpiece of grace. From the beginning of His walk with Jesus he submitted to whatever He wanted. Christ working through him was his big secret!

Therefore, we stay enrolled in the school of contentment for it is a lifelong educational process. Like wisdom and humility, we are always learning and growing in the discipline of contentment. The secret is surrender to Jesus Christ and by faith allowing Him to live His life through us. His strength sustains us. His Spirit empowers us. His wisdom enlightens us. His humility humbles us. His love embraces us. The secret of contentment is resting in Jesus. It’s trusting Him to handle the rest we can’t control. Prayerfully we wait on God’s best. Contentment in Him is great gain!

“Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender to You and Your expectations for my life. I trust in Christ to strengthen my soul.

Related Readings: Psalm 131:2; Proverbs 19:23; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11

Post/Tweet today: We are a work in progress, but by God’s grace we progress. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Tim Keller audio on Contentment-

Our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth, coming          October!  Pre-order your copy today. Boyd’s one minute book video-

Boyd’s one minute video about the new book-


  1. Patrice says:

    Loved this one! Thank you!

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Patrice~
    Thank you for your encouraging words regarding the Wisdom Hunter’s devotional, “Secret of Contentment”.
    I agree with you: I loved this one, too! It was such a great reminder on the blessing that contentment can be!
    The words in the devotional, “…contentment patiently waits on the joy of all Jesus has for us. Contentment has a way of cleansing our motives” really made me stop and think about the beautiful gift of contentment that Jesus offers His children.
    We love hearing from our Wisdom Hunter’s family! We look forward to hearing from you again soon.
    We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter.
    Believing and trusting~

    “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonias 5:16-18

  3. Kizumma says:

    I had bookmarked the link to the Tim Keller podcast but can no longer access it through Youtube. It says it’s private. Is there another link that still works?

  4. Gwynne says:

    Dear Kizumma~
    I am sorry that link is no longer working for you. Let me look into finding it and I will be back in touch with you.
    In the meantime, please continue to enjoy the Wisdom Hunters devotionals. We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter!
    Believing and trusting~
    “Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light for my path.
    I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:105-106

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