The Bible clearly teaches us to "be content" no matter what our circumstances are. In Philippians 4:11, Paul said, I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content. The Amplified Bible describes being content as satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted. It doesn't say satisfied to the point where you don't want change, but satisfied for now until God brings the change. Philippians 4:6-7 sheds more light in this area by saying, Have no anxiety about anything, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, continue to let God know what you want, and verse 7 the peace that passes understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Allow me to paraphrase these scriptures in my language for you. Don't be upset about anything, no matter what is happening. Pray about it, and tell God your need. While you are waiting for God to move, be a very thankful and grateful person for all that God has done for you already. (Note: Let me say here that if God never did one thing for us except write our names in the Lamb's Book of Life, that alone is more than enough.)
Being thankful from the heart is necessary for the receiving of God's continued favors in our lives. Then verse 7 says after this:
- Have no anxiety or care,
- Tell God your need, and
- Be thankful.
Then you will have tremendous peace and contentment no matter what state you are in while you are waiting for God to work out His will in your life.
Let us not forget Romans 8:28 that says, All things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Even the hard times can work into God's perfect plan for your life. Cast your care, and be a thankful person. Take inventory each day of what you have instead of counting up all the things that you have not. Meditate on what God has done in your life instead of what you are still waiting on Him to do. Your flesh wants you to concentrate on what you don't have. Your spirit wants you to ask God for what you don't have, yet concentrate on what you do have.
John 14:27 (AMPC) says, Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled. Jesus left us a legacy of peace, and He wants us to use it. I have discovered through years of experience, many of these years spent in frustration and discontentment, that the secret of being content is to ask God for what I want, and know that "if it is right" He will bring it to pass "at the right time," and if it isn't right, God will do something much better than what I asked for anyway. We must learn to trust God completely if we ever intend to enjoy peaceful living. It is good to trust God for something, but God is calling His people not only to trust Him "for something," but to trust Him "in everything."
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph, speaking to his brothers who had severely mistreated him, said As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good. The very things we think are awful right now, very often can turn out to be a great blessing. The greatest trial can develop in you the greatest faith. God spoke this to my heart a while ago: "Joyce, you see to the end of your nose (which isn't very far), and you assume that anything that doesn't feel good isn't good. But I see from beginning to end because I am The Beginning and The End, and I know many things you don't know." We know in part. God is "The All."
Exercise doesn't feel good, but it is good. When a rebellious child receives a spanking, it doesn't feel good, but it is good. Hebrews 12 teaches us that no chastening for the present seems joyous but grievous, nevertheless, later on it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Perhaps we need to learn to be more concerned with later on than with right now. Hebrews 12 also says that for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, but He is now seated at the right hand of God. Let's be willing to endure for a season, if it will seat us at His right hand of authority and power.
In conclusion, let me say that the sum of the whole matter is this: Trust God! Hide yourself in the secret place (in Him). God loves you. He is a good God who only does good things. Be content knowing that His way is perfect, and He brings with Him a great recompense of reward for those who trust in Him.
We do not need to strive for power or hope to have power someday; we have power now! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (see Rom. 8:11) and we can be quickened (filled with life) by that power. This is not a onetime filling that slowly drains out of us as the days go by, but we can be filled day by day and even moment by moment. We can constantly and continually experience God’s presence and power in our lives. When we belong to Him, there is never a time when His power is not accessible to us.