28 Apr Contentment
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do cheaters seem to prosper and the good guys never win?
Why doesn’t God do something about all the evil in the world?
Common questions we all have likely asked at one point in our lives. And apparently, they are ancient questions too, because King David devoted an entire forty verses to answering this frustration in Psalm 37. In Sunday’s message, Pastor Jeff Ralph summed up the psalm in a single word: contentment. He reminded us that contentment in difficult circumstances is a form of surrender—it’s patiently trusting God to work and being confident that He will make all things right in the end, as the psalmist promised.
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:1-4 ESV
A few points that stood out in Pastor Jeff’s talk are:
1) God determines good and bad. Our feelings are poor indicators as God might be working in a hard situation to bring about great good as He did in placing Joseph in a position to save an entire nation from starvation through the trials of servitude and unwarranted jail time.
2) Focusing on what we don’t have instead of focusing on God makes us no different from the world. Contentment sets us apart and points others to Jesus through our testimony.
3) True contentment comes from trusting God and placing your faith in Him. We should strive to be like the Apostle Paul who stated in Philippians 4:11-13 that he was content in whatever situation he found himself in because of Christ.
In summary, Pastor Jeff asked us to examine our motives. Contentment isn’t a means to an end. We can’t strong-arm God into blessing us more by going to church out of tradition or serving Him out of duty. We must truly “delight” in the Lord, trust that God is who He says He is. We must place our faith in his truth, place our confidence in the fact that He will never leave us, and rest in the peace that God is working in our lives to bring about God as He sees fit.