But godliness with contentment is great gain ...
If you feel life hasn't given you a fair shake, then I've got good news for you, my friend. If you feel like shouting, "That's not fair!" Shout it to God. He's there to listen. He's there to love. If you're burdened by worry and bone-crushing despair, Jesus Christ reaches His nail-scarred hands out to you.
Now some might hear St. Paul's words about living a godly and contented life and immediately despair. They respond, "I'm not godly, that must be why I'm not content." However, when St. Paul talks about godliness, he means that Jesus Christ living in us gives us the contentment we seek in our lives. It isn't anything we do. It's having faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.
I'm not saying that you won't feel loss just because you have faith in Jesus Christ. There are times when even the strongest Christian feels unsatisfied, resentful, or questions God about life's many problems. So where is contentment in these situations? Without God, that's a question ripe for speculation. Sadly, many people look to the world, especially money, to find that contentment.
On this point, St. Paul links "godliness and contentment" with money, and how wealth can mislead. He continues, "For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs" (1 Timothy 6:7-10).
The world is full of people who have turned to riches for contentment and have still found themselves surprisingly disappointed. True contentment doesn't come from the things we do for ourselves. It comes from receiving the miracle of the salvation won by Jesus Christ on the cross, and abiding in that faith.
The Holy Scriptures tell us our lives should be godly ones, that we should "pursue righteousness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11b). These are qualities that come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. By faith we know that no matter what, through thick or thin, God is right by our side. He is present in all our circumstances and in all our difficulties. He gives us the contentment we long for in this world.
So whether we're rich or not so rich, we should set our hope on the certainty of God, not life's fleeting fortunes. To trust in God is to store up for ourselves "a good foundation for the future, so that (we) may take hold of that which is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:19b).
And that life is Jesus Christ. In Him we find true contentment and great gain—made possible through His life, death, and resurrection.
Heavenly Father, keep us safe and steadfast in Your mercy and grace given to us in Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.
Rev. Edward Blonski
1. Are you content with your life right now?Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
2. Do you have issues with money—not having enough of it? Chasing after it too much? Struggling with managing it?
3. How do you keep life's many snares from snagging you?
Are you content with your life right now?