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May 24 – Contentment and gratitude

 “… I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” – Philippians 4:11 

Scripture reading: Psalm 73:1-28

Contentment is crucial to gratitude. We see that in verse 3 where Asaph writes, “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” When we look at what other people have, we can easily become discontent with what God has blessed us with.

The grass always looks greener on the other side. Instead of looking at what others have, we need to focus on what God has given us. Asaph eventually did that when he entered the sanctuary of God and began to understand the plight of those who don’t trust in God (17). In the sanctuary of God, as he studied God’s Word and reflected on God’s grace to him, he found true contentment and described how God was the strength of his heart and his portion forever (26). It is only by focusing on God and His goodness that we find true contentment, and then the gratitude flows from God’s provision for us.

The apostle Paul wrote about the same truth. In Philippians 4:11 he described how he had discovered contentment in every situation of life, whether living in plenty or in want. His focus was on Christ; his contentment came by trusting Him.

In 1648 Jeremiah Burroughs wrote a book based on Philippians 4:11 entitled, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. Contentment is indeed a jewel, but it is rare. By God’s grace, may it be a reality in your life and mine, today and always!

Suggestions for prayer

Ask forgiveness for envy and discontentment, and pray for eyes to clearly see the greatest blessing: Salvation from sin and eternal life through saving faith in Christ alone, “for from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:16). 

Pastor Ted Gray is a retired minister in the United Reformed Church of North America. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.


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