"Be content with such things as ye have, for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).
When considering the Apostle Paul's command to contentment, we may be tempted to focus more on the challenge than the accompanying promise. Indeed, the basis of "Be content" is the assurance of the promise and presence of God - "He hath said… I will never leave the nor forsake thee." Thus, the issue does not involve our dedication or capacity to experience satisfaction in the varying conditions of life, but rather our confidence in the ability of our Heavenly Father to do what He promises and be who He is.
Is the Word of God faithful and true? One of the greatest blessings in my life came to me just after I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1975. A friend gave me a book by the author M.R. DeHaan, who wrote in its pages that we can trust God and the Bible without reserve. Dr. DeHaan affirmed (and I paraphrase), "Believe the Scriptures from beginning to end, and all points in between. As times goes by, you will increasingly discover the perfection of the Bible and the truth that "every word of God is pure" (Proverbs 30:5). In this holy light, the aforementioned assurance of our Lord's abiding and contenting presence beckons our hearts to complete confidence - "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart" (Proverbs 3:5). We could lose everything, but if God remained, we would have lost nothing. Or, as my wife Frances says, "Having Him, we have all."
No more challenging truth exists in the pages of God's Word. Everything in the world rages against the proposition of God alone as the contentment of our hearts. The devil constantly tempts us to believe that we require more. Moreover, the flesh of even the most godly believer resists the singular contentment found only in the promise and the presence of "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." We must therefore expect the conflict so long as we live in a fallen world. God Himself is our contentment. This we must believe and affirm with both heart and tongue, building the altar within that believes contentment to be possible no less in dungeons than in palaces. Our enemies will savagely attack our position, and we must be ready to counter. When tempted to believe that we must have something or someone other than our Lord and His provision, we arise to affirm, "God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!" (Psalm 73:26). "Having Him, we have all…"
Contentment is the fruit of God's presence, and our confidence therein. Confidence is the fruit of consistent exposure to the Lord and His truth - "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). The Word of God is the fruit of the perfectly faithful heart of the God who "cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). Herein we rest our own hearts in that haven of peace which realizes the truth of One as the Life of our lives. Our contentment lies in Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else. Upon this basis alone can we respond effectually to the promise and the command, "Be content with such things as ye have, for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Yes indeed, having Him...
"Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness."
Weekly Memory Verse
Godliness with contentment is great gain.
(I Timothy 6:6)