Contentment in Crisis

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" —Hebrews 13:5.

In the present economic crisis, thinking about money is the stuff of everyday living. It's a good thing the Scriptures don't tell us not to think about money; we'd be hard pressed to manage an instruction like that. This particular verse from Hebrews reminds us not to love money for money's sake. In other passages, like that of Matthew 6, we are told not to be anxious about the supply of our most basic needs. Instead, we are to put God first and watch Him take care of all of our necessities.

The writer to the Hebrews reminds us to not be anxious, AND to be content.

But it's the last statement that struck me this morning as I read it. Not being greedy and being content with what we have is based on something other than the "power of positive thinking". "…God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

There are several applications to this phrase. Hiking back to the passage in Matthew 6, we can say that the writer is reminding us that when we put God first in our lives, He guarantees provision for our needs.

However there is something else that hits me here. We are instructed to be content with what we have—be it much or little. How can someone who has little, perhaps even not enough, still be content even in the midst of suffering? We can't ignore the stark reality that faithful believers in other parts of the world are not blessed with the same abundance as we may have in North America. How can they be content while they wait on the Lord?

Contentment, even in the face of want, is based on the knowledge that God will never forsake us even in the midst of that want. Ultimately HE is enough even when food, clothing, shelter, or peace are lacking.

This kind of contentment is one of the greatest tests of real faith that there is, the kind of quality of faith that all of us need to long for whether we are enjoying plenty or little.


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