The Bible contains some real challenges for us. The Apostle Paul wrote that he had learned how to be content whatever the situation. That is quite some statement. If we think about the world we live in, is it really possible for us to be content? We think about the current pandemic, so much suffering, people losing their jobs, the poverty that there is in some parts, amongst many other points we could make. We don’t make light of these difficulties and feel for all who are suffering at the moment. Yet when Paul wrote those words he was in prison, with a likely painful death ahead of him.
So can we be content?
If we think about the meaning of contentment in the Biblical setting, it means ‘be enough’ or ‘to suffice’. It has the sense of being satisfied. From Paul’s perspective it was a mental attitude that he had an inner peace no matter what he had to face around him. The letters he wrote and the speeches he gave record very clearly what he believed passionately. He had the hope of the gospel and that was the key in his life. He looked to the future promises that God had made. Therefore, we can take the lesson from Paul and, no matter what is happening in our lives, we can have this inner contentment. This does not mean that we don’t care about all the suffering and, most certainly, we can help where we can.
So what is the hope of the gospel that so dominated Paul’s thinking? Here are just a few points:
- He had faith and trust in God and God’s message in the Bible. As the Bible reveals, God’s plan is that His kingdom will be setup on this earth – the Lord’s Prayer says “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
- All the problems in this world, including all suffering, will then be eliminated.
- Jesus Christ will return to this earth to establish that kingdom. When he ascended to heaven (Acts chapter 1), it clearly tells us that he is coming back.
- The gospel message is summed up by the words of Jesus “whoever believes and is baptised will be saved”. Believing means that our understanding changes the way we live, trying to follow the example of Jesus.
- Even though we die, if we truly believe the gospel, we can look forward to being raised from the dead in this coming kingdom. This is God’s invitation, it’s wonderful and is possible only by His love, grace and mercy.
The answer to our question “can we be content today?” is a rousing YES. Please read the Bible for yourself and if we can help in your reading and understanding, please contact us through the website. May our Lord Jesus return soon to bring peace and righteousness.