Contentment is hard to attain. Even the apostle Paul, a hero of the faith, had to learn to be content (Phil. 4:11). It was not a natural character trait for him.
For Paul to write that he was content in every situation is truly amazing. At the time of this writing, he was in jail in Rome. Charged with sedition, treason, and other serious crimes, he had appealed to the highest court: Caesar himself. Without other legal recourse and friends in high places, he had to wait for his case to be heard. It seems as if Paul had the right to be an impatient and unhappy person. Instead, he wrote to the Philippians to say that he had learned to be content.
How did he learn this? One step at a time until he could be satisfied even in uncomfortable environments. He learned to accept whatever came his way (v.12) and to receive with thanks whatever help fellow Christians could give (vv.14-18). And most important, he recognized that God was supplying all he needed (v.19).
Contentment is not natural for any of us. The competitive spirit in us drives us to compare, to complain, and to covet. Few of us are in a predicament such as Paul’s, but we all face difficulties in which we can learn to trust God and be content.
O Lord, give me the grace to be
Content with what You give to me.
No, more than that, let me rejoice
In all You send, for it’s Your choice! —Anon.
Contentment is not possessing everything but giving thanks for everything you possess.