In a world where everything is upgraded every year and sometimes more than twice a year, people are more than ever focused on "keeping up with the Joneses" and having the newest and best things. From cell phones, computers, clothes, cosmetics, music, movies, furniture, food, games, and toys there are endless amounts of things to purchase. In a world where we are told via advertisements that unless we keep up with the trends, we will not be cool, popular, beautiful, handsome, trendy, chic, fashionable, included, or successful, the distorted ideals, perceptions, and demands make our hearts hunger and long for acceptance and inclusion. How can we, as Christians, live in a world that causes our hearts to constantly want instead of being satisfied and content with what we already have and enjoy the life we are given?
As Christians, we have something this world doesn't. We have a Father who takes care of our needs and fills the void in our hearts. We have a Savior who is with us all day every day and fights for us continually. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us to help us and guide us each moment. We are not alone, left to our own demise but are surrounded by a merciful and gracious Lord Who sees our every need before we even need it. (Matthew 6:31-34). Sometimes we do not have because we do not ask, it is not God's timing, or we ask with ill intentions and the Lord, seeing our heart, does not give because of the wickedness or selfishness in which we desire that requested item, person, or dream. Read James 4:1-4 below.
"Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. - James 4:1-4
To truly be content in all situations, both in poverty and riches, in illness and health, we have to keep our eyes on one Person, Jesus Christ. When our eyes are on the Lord, the world and its temporal possession fade. We will have struggles, we will have trials and temptations, but when our focus is centered on Jesus, He gives us the strength to overcome and defeat these hardships. Read Philippians 4:10-13, 19-20 below.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me... And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. - Philippians 4:10-13, 19-20
When we are content, God is pleased with us and we are finally setting our hearts on the right thing and our thoughts with the correct mindset. We understand that everything and I mean everything in this world will pass away. We are born naked with nothing but our souls and flesh when we die we will take nothing, only our souls will remain, even our flesh will perish, but we will be given a new body. When God puts an end to evil once and for all He will destroy this world with fire, everything in it will be gone forever, and He will create a new heaven and a new earth where His children will live with Him forever in a sinless, perfect, holy world. (2 Peter 3:10-13 & Revelation 21:1-4).
Just remember each day whatever problems you are facing, whatever things you are collecting or desiring, they all will go away and perish. Therefore, invest in eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21). This means investing in your relationship with God daily, invest in your relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, share the Gospel and invest in the lives of unbelievers who are willing to accept God into their life, invest in children who need to hear about a loving Father and what Jesus did for them, and invest in your spiritual health. Yes, we have to live in this world while we are here, but as God tells us we are not to be of the world for we are set apart and are foreigners. Our home is in heaven, not on this earth. (Romans 12:1-2). It is okay to have nice things and to buy things you want, but make sure your heart is in the right place and is not being poisoned by the love of money or the covetousness this world so greatly lives by. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and Hebrews 13:5-6 below.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. - 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” - Hebrews 13:5-6
The best way to keep yourself content and pure-hearted is to spend quality time with God every day. Some ways include, reading the Bible, reading books by godly men and women, talking with God throughout the day about anything and everything, singing hymns out loud or humming them in your head, listening to Christian music, praying, fellowshipping with sisters and brothers in Christ, and learning from maturer Christians. There are so many ways to keep your mind on what matters, to keep your heart checked and in the right place, to store up treasures in heaven. Meditate on these verses this week and reflect on your life and what truly is in your heart and spend time with God. We all have the same amount of time each day, and we all make time for what we want to do. God should come first, He will not be second place in your life. (Matthew 6:24). If you don't have time for Him each day, then you are too busy and need to think about what you need to let go of or how you can rearrange your schedule to include your Creator. Remember, anything that takes you away/separates you from our holy God is a sin. Love God first and love others! (Mark 12:29-31).