Contentment And Hunger

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Phil 4:10-12 KJV

One of the big things that the Lord has been speaking to me lately has to do with contentment. In life, it’s easy to live in a place of discontent. We aren’t happy with our home, we aren’t happy with our car, we aren’t happy with our job, we aren’t happy with our spouse. We are not content.

I think discontent spreads like a disease. Once it touches one area of your life, it seems to affect other areas. I know in my life, there have been seasons where I’ve found myself upset about my job and pretty soon, I’m also upset at my family. This dissatisfaction seems to just grow and spread to every area of my life over time.

The answer to discontentment is simple, but its hard. The answer is to discover true contentment and true satisfaction is found in a person - Jesus. True contentment is found only in Jesus. When we long or hunger for anything other than Jesus, we will be disappointed.

Our spouse is not supposed to be our savior, Jesus is.
Our job is not supposed to be our provider, Jesus is.
Our home is not supposed to be our protection, Jesus is.

Discontentment in anything means we are failing to see God as our everything. Paul seemed to understand this better than most. He says he knew how to be abased or brought low and how to abound. He knew what it was like to have a thriving ministry and one that was limited to the walls of a prison. He knew what it was like to see thousands saved and also what it was like to be alone and forgotten. He knew what it was like to have lots of money and also what it was like to be poor. Paul understood what many of us don’t. Paul’s true satisfaction came not from his abundance of possessions but in the only thing that truly matters, Jesus.

We are supposed to know true contentment, just like Paul, but we are also supposed to hunger. This is one of the great paradoxes of the Scriptures. We are simultaneously supposed to hunger and be full. Jesus says in John 6 that we should hunger for the bread of life and also be satisfied at the same time. While this may sound like a paradox, it’s actually quite simple. Our hunger should be a focused hunger. It should be a hunger for something specific. It should be a hunger for the presence of God.

If we hunger for anything other than God and his presence, we are hungering for something that will not satisfy. True contentment, true delight is only found in his presence. Our goal, our mission should be to chase after, to pursue that. When we find discontentment or hunger in our life for anything other than Jesus, we need to recalibrate our desires. One of the best ways to do this is by fasting.

When we fast, we experience real hunger. In that we find ourselves hungering for all types of things. I know when I fast, it seems that every commercial or ad I see is about food. Even ads about insurance or clothes show people eating and all it does is remind me of my hunger. But what I’m doing in fasting is training my flesh to only hunger for Jesus. I have to rid myself of desires for anything other than him. After all, man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). Our hunger should only be directed in one place - Him.

Prayer - Father, thank you for revealing to me what contentment looks like. Help me to find satisfaction in you and you alone. Give me the strength to battle the flesh and hunger only for you. Thank you for filling me with your truth and your word. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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