The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency (contentment) in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:6-8)
Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Tim 6:3-10)
Contentment is a true necessity for abounding in every good work… for great gain as we pursue godliness. This came to mind last night as I met an old friend from college. We both pledged an aviation fraternity together and hadn’t seen one another since college. He had a stopover at an area airport and so I drove down and we went out to see this ‘vehicle’ that he uses for his job…. a beautiful Lear jet. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to fly one of those babies, but it’s what he does. I was tempted to envy… there was a moment when I thought, I’d rather be doing that than….this. But as we talked, we realized that God has been teaching us both about ‘contentment’. He does have a ‘sweet ride’… but with that comes much responsibility and alot…. ALOT… of time away from home/family. He is at the mercy of a Washington lobbyist and so he is always in the air or somewhere other than home. I realized that I had much to be thankful for in how God has provided for me and our family.
But contentment is not just about our jobs or our finances or our giving or our stewardship of resources, it is a huge component of our faith in a God who is GOD. How much do I really trust God in the big and small details and occurences in my life? Do I “really” rest in Him? Do I really “hide” under the shelter of His wings? Is God my refuge and strength…is He my very present help in trouble?
HE IS. Even when I forget or struggle with unbelief… He is. Amid the challenges of living in a sin-filled world and daily having to put to death the deeds of the flesh in this body of sin which for now still remains with me. He is.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46)