by Skip Moen,(D. Phil.)
“Let your way of life be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Content How’s it working out for you? Has it been a tough year? Have you struggled? I have. Maybe most of us have. We all know economic woes, but in the long run, those don’t really matter too much, do they? The things that really bother us are usually far more personal than our money. In fact, if money is so personal in your life that it rises to the top of the list, then it’s probably time to read this verse again. The real point of this verse is contentment. That’s the biggest struggle for most of us. We are a long way away from the prayer of the sages: “Lord, make my heart so malleable that I am ready and willing to accept whatever You provide for me.” We need to learn contentment. I suppose that process is very much the same as the one which says, “And He learned obedience through suffering.” (Hebrews 5:8).
Frankly, contentment is impossible unless I trust the Lord. That’s why the author of Hebrews points us toward His faithfulness. How can I be content if I think contentment is about anything except His faithfulness? If my contentment rests on any other foundation, I will be disappointed, won’t I? This is a good time to reflect on the truth that whatever the world provides, it can repossess (with interest). A life built on sand is a life built on people, possessions and power. It’s wonderful when you have these things but they are merely blessing of His grace. In the end, life must be built on something more solid than blessings. The rock-bottom of contentment is the fact that He will not forsake us, even when everything else seems to evaporate.
The Greek verb here is arkeo. It is essentially the expression of being satisfied with the provision of God. “My grace is sufficient” is exactly the same concept (and word). God provides. How He provides and what He provides is not my concern. My concern is simply that He does provide and I am called to rest in that truth. The real character of my life is reflected in the foundation of my rest. May I be restless to do His will and to rest in Him. This is the sacred balance: that His purpose becomes my driving force and His character becomes my contentment. The entire message of Scripture can be read in these words: May I find rest in You, O Lord.
Do you need a New Year’s resolution worth pursuing? Try this Rest, O my soul, in the graciousness of God.
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