Contentment

άρκέω – Arkeo
(Greek)

  1. to be possessed of unfailing strength
      1. to be strong, to suffice, to be enough
        1. to defend, ward off
      2. to be satisfied, to be contented

“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(arkeo). But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-10 NLT

“I want a cookie.”, my toddler said. “No, you can’t have a cookie for breakfast.” I responded, “You need to start your day with something better than that.”
What a terrible father I must be to deny my children such yummy things, and especially early in the day when they want them.
Isn’t that what we think? No! Most of us know by now that it’s not good for you in the long run if you start your day with sugary sweets.

Ponder this story if you will:
There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared to him.

The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.

“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.”

When life seems unfair and we just aren’t getting what we want when we want it we need to take a step back and examine our situation through eternal eyes. Maybe you’re in this situation because you have some growing to do, maybe it’s not as much for your benefit as it is for someone else, perhaps what you learn from this time can help and inspire someone else down the road.

Father,
Thank you for the many blessings you have given me already. Thank you that you know how to give good and perfect gifts to your children, and thank you that some of your best gifts are still to come.
Please help me be content where I am and content with where you have me. Give me peace to know that you are in control and work all things out for my good.
I love you Lord.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Scriptures to meditate on:

Matthew 7:9-11
Romans 8:28, 29
Philippians 4:11-13
Lamentations 3:24-26
Psalm 23

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