The Secret to True Contentment

Meditate on this Bible verse.

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Posted in , Aug 31, 2021

A hermit crab on a beach; Getty Images

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

On a recent family beach vacation, we watched hermit crabs swap shells. Several hermit crabs were crawling around, so we lined them up near an empty shell, biggest to smallest. Sure enough, the largest hermit crab, first in line, started checking out the empty shell. He must have liked it because suddenly he popped out of his shell and stuck his worm-like rear-end into the new shell. He found something bigger and better. This started a chain reaction. Each hermit crab crept out of its current home and plopped into the empty shell in front of it.

We're not that different from hermit crabs. We live in a culture that encourages bigger and better. Whether it's a job, home, vacation, car, or mountain to climb, we spend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy looking for what's bigger and better. I have. We moved from a small apartment to bigger homes. I wrote books, hoping each one would outsell the last. We planned vacations, seeking bigger and better experiences. It's an exhausting, vicious cycle.

Paul wrote incredible wisdom about this empty desire, while in a dank, dark prison. He had learned the secret to contentment: knowing Jesus. Paul experienced wealth and poverty. He knew without a doubt that nothing brings the lasting satisfaction we crave except knowing Jesus. He closed this chapter in Philippians with the promise, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (v. 19, NIV). Let's stop struggling for more and discover true contentment found only in Jesus.

Faith Step: Read Philippians 4. Meditate on it and find contentment in Jesus.

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