WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 13, 2022
TOPIC: CONTENTMENT: THE SOLUTION TO INSATIABLE HUMAN WANTS
BY T. O. BANSO
“It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else” (Ecclesiastes 6:9b Good News Translation).
It is said that human wants are many and insatiable because the means of satisfying them are limited or scarce. No matter what human beings have, they always want more and are never satisfied. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (New King James Version).
The only antidote to insatiable human wants is contentment! Contentment, according to Oxford Dictionary, is a feeling of being happy or satisfied. Easton Bible Dictionary defines it as “A state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be.” Also, Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment as “An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances.”
The Bible says godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). Without contentment, nobody will be satisfied with even the best things of life that he has, which others may be envious of him for, praying to God to give them, or struggling to possess. He may be the wealthiest, the greatest, and the most prominent person but still be envious of those who are not anywhere near him.
Psalm 37:16 says the little which the good man has is better than the wealth of evil doers. Also, Proverbs 15:16 says better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth together with trouble. According to Proverbs 16:8, better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice. My emphasis in these three scriptures is little.
Children of God must learn contentment. They must not join the people of the world in their rat race. The people of the world live their lives pursuing things. Their goal in life is materialism and they often go about it in unrighteous ways. They acquire wealth and things that they don’t need or won’t live long to enjoy. They steal, kill, and do other despicable things just to be rich and live the best life possible! Proverbs 28:20 says a faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? (Mark 8:36).
The apostle Paul says 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 (1 Timothy 6:9). Verse 10 adds that 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.
The unfortunate thing, however, is that despite what they have succeeded to acquire by hook or by crook, such people are never satisfied. They always want more. They cannot satisfy their insatiable wants. “He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 World English Bible).
Believers must learn contentment. Paul said he had learnt in whatever state he was to be content. “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” (Philippians 4:11-13 New King James Version). Did you see that? He learnt contentment.
You must learn Contentment. It is not a special gift God gave some people. It is a product of discipline. Whoever does not learn contentment will live a miserable life despite the abundance of things he has and the enviable position he may occupy in life. He will always be envious of others who don’t even have what he has or occupy positions inferior to his. He would always think that he would be happier if he gets more or life will be better if he gets to a certain position.
The author of Hebrews says, “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’” (Hebrews 13:5 New King James Version). Learn to be content with what you have or where you are. That doesn’t mean that you have no aspirations or you have resigned to fate. But it means that you put your trust in God and not worry about things as unbelievers do.
Jesus puts it this way: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:25-34 New King James Version).
Also, Paul says in Philippians 4:6 that you should not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Furthermore, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7 that you should cast all your care upon God, for He cares for you. Don’t forget that contentment is a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. And it is an internal satisfaction that does not demand changes in external circumstances.
Learn to be content. John the Baptist told the soldiers who came to him for baptism and asked him what they should do, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14 New King James Version). Those who are not content with their wages could steal or engage in corrupt practices contrary to the Word of God. A child of God must not engage in illegitimate things to earn more money.
Some people make the mistake of trying to replace God with things in their lives. They think things can give them the satisfaction that only God can give. Nothing can give you the satisfaction that only God can give. Not even human relationships. Therefore, you should pursue God, not things. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you. Psalm 107:9 says God satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness. “The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to learn to be content with what I have and my conduct to be without covetousness. I pray that all children of God will have internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances. They will not be possessed by materialism. They will seek first the kingdom and His righteousness.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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