Thursday, January 27, 2011

Contentment and Joy

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. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… Galatians 5:22

As my mind wanders doing my daily tasks, I find myself lacking. I wonder how I can strive for joy and contentment? Is it within me to strive or can only God provide me with the two things I long for the most?

As I realize the wash has stopped, there is another load of clothes to fold, dishes in the sink, and dinner to be prepared. I say out loud to my husband, who is home for a quick lunch, “It never stops.” And later when I’m putting away clothes and the children are napping, I realize again how I lack joy and contentment and what I said to my dear husband was wrong. The service I give to my family is all in vain if I find no joy…if I do it out of duty and not out of love will I ever win their hearts?

So, I go back to my original question…can I strive for joy and contentment or is this something God must work in me? Where is the balance between His work and my responsibility? Is it that God shows me those things I lack so I continuously come back to His grace?

When I find myself burdened by the same daily tasks, consumed with the thoughts of how I could run this home better, and how my children could be more obedient if I would just do something different…I’m telling Him He is not sufficient. I’m telling Him His grace is not sufficient. I’m telling Him…I need more than Him.

Contentment. Joy.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

4 comments:

Camille said...

Precious and real post! How we need the LORD each and every day...and HIS grace and HIS strength and yes...we CAN do all for HIM and HIS glory...in the midst of *real* life! I *love* it that Paul said that he had LEARNED to be content in whatever state he was in. I *love* it that you quoted so much Scripture in this post...you are looking to the right Source for all your joy and contentment...HE is faithful and will meet your every need.

In Him,
Camille

Ma ~ said...

Contentment has been a long journey for me. I haven't "arrived", but do feel that He has sanctified me quite a bit in this area. But there are days.....

Trisha said...

MIchele,
I think that battle for contentment and joy is never completely won here on earth, but oh how God is faithful to sanctify us in this area, and we become more and more vessels of praise to Him, expressing joy in Him and where He has placed us. Each daily battle is how we learn to have the joy of the Lord for our strength instead of joy from our circumstances. I've been a Mommy for 15 years, and I'm only learning to lean harder on Him. There are still days when my heart reeks of ingratitude, and I forget how blessed I am.

What a gift from God that He is teaching you these truths now....how important it IS to be joyful and content in this wonderful life of being wives and mothers and caring for our homes...so that you may pass on that truth to your own children. They'll see their Mama living out the truth of God's Word right before them (and they'll see the sometimes struggles, too, and God's gift of repentance), and they will praise you in the gates for a life lived to the glory of God.

Sorry for the long-winded comment and more words than you probably wanted. :)

God bless you, and may you know more and more joy and contentment in Him, my friend. Love and prayers!

Michelle said...

Thank you all so much for your comments and encouraging words. It really does help to know we are not alone and that each of us face battles. I am so glad God has placed women in my life, whether through church or the blog, that have walked this road before. Those who can remind me that God is faithful and always working out what He has begun in our hearts.