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Catching Contentment

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2023 8:00 pm

Catching Contentment

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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March 19, 2023 8:00 pm

In a psychiatrist’s advice column, he responded to a reader named Brenda, who lamented that her ambitious pursuits had left her discontent. His words were blunt. Humans aren’t designed to be happy, he said, “only to survive and reproduce.” We’re cursed to chase the “teasing and elusive butterfly” of contentment, he added, “not always to capture it.”

I wonder how Brenda felt reading the psychiatrist’s nihilistic words and how different she may have felt reading Psalm 131 instead. In its words, David gives us a guided reflection on how to find contentment. He begins in a posture of humility, putting his kingly ambitions aside, and while wrestling life’s big questions is important, he puts those aside in this moment too (v. 1). Then he quiets his heart before God (v. 2), entrusting the future into His hands (v. 3). The result is beautiful: “like a weaned child with its mother,” he says, “I am content” (v. 2).

In a broken world like ours, contentment will at times feel elusive. The apostle Paul said contentment is something to be learned—Philippians 4:11–13. But if we believe we’re only designed to “survive and reproduce,” contentment will surely be an uncatchable butterfly. David shows us another way: catching contentment through quietly resting in God’s presence.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.

I'm Sheridan Voisey and I've titled today's devotional, Catching Contentment. In a psychiatrist's advice column, he responded to a reader named Brenda who lamented that her ambitious pursuits had left her discontented. His words were blunt. Humans aren't designed to be happy, he said, only to survive and reproduce.

We're cursed to chase the teasing and elusive butterfly of contentment, he added, not always to capture it. I wonder how Brenda felt reading the psychiatrist's nihilistic words and how different she may have felt had she read Psalm 131 instead. In its words, David gives us a guided reflection on how to find contentment. He begins in a posture of humility, putting his kingly ambitions aside, and while wrestling life's big questions is important, he puts those aside too. Then he quiets his heart before God, entrusting the future into his hands.

The result is beautiful. Like a weaned child with its mother, he says, I am content. In a broken world like ours, contentment will at times feel elusive. In Philippians 4, 11 to 13, the Apostle Paul said contentment is something to be learned.

But if we believe we're only designed to survive and reproduce, contentment will surely be an uncatchable butterfly. David shows us another way, catching contentment through quietly resting in God's presence. Today's scripture reading is from Psalm 131. My heart is not proud, Lord.

My eyes are not haughty. I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself. I am like a weaned child with its mother. Like a weaned child, I am content.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore. Let's pray together. Lord, there can be so much in our day to keep us discontented. The problems in our world, the parts of our own lives that are incomplete, whether they be relationships or accomplishments.

If we try to find contentment in any of these things somehow being fixed up today, we will be left waiting. And so we take time now to dwell with you, to listen to you, to rest in you. You are the deepest well of our truest contentment. Thank you, Lord. We receive your contentment now in Jesus' name and by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 20:19:45 / 2023-03-19 20:21:12 / 1

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