10 Bible Verses on Contentment

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PHILIPPIANS 4:11–13“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Secret of Contentment” by Alistair Begg:

“Christian contentment is clearly independent of my circumstances. We all know the adage that ‘happiness depends on what happens.’ But joy is something that is independent of the chances and changes of our world. And until we understand that, then we will be riding high on the coaster, and then we will be down in the depths, and our life will continue to go that way. It will not be in banishing this or in discovering that that we discover contentment, but it will be in realizing that whether I banish this or retain it, discover this or never discover it, that contentment is found somewhere else.

“… Christian contentment is grounded in our union with Jesus. It is a relationship with Jesus which establishes the basis for Christian contentment. In other words, Philippians 3:10 precedes Philippians 4:13. Paul says in 3:10, ‘I want to know Christ,’ and in 4:13 he says, ‘I can do everything through Christ.’ But first I want to know Christ, and in knowing Him, then I will be able to do everything through Him.”

ECCLESIASTES 5:10–12“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.”

Commentary from the sermon “Money: Dangers, Disappoint, Delights” by Alistair Begg:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Christ is the embodiment of God’s wisdom. Christ is all of our righteousness, all of our satisfaction, all of our security, all of our ultimate possessions. And so it is in Christ that everything that God gives for our enjoyment is taken to a level that cannot be experienced outside of Christ. Outside of Christ, the best that life has to offer is settled with the dust of death. It is ultimately an unbearable triviality. And in Christ, even the least that society has to offer can become the occasion of great rejoicing and wonderful benefit.”

1 TIMOTHY 6:17–19“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

Commentary from the sermon “True Security” by Alistair Begg:

“Most of the rich people that I know who have significant resources never set out to get significant resources. They set out to do a good job. They set out to make sure that they showed up at their place of work when they should, to work hard, to return telephone calls, to be respectful to their leadership, and so on. And somewhere along the line they have enjoyed … the rewards of their diligence. What a tragedy, then, if the rewards of their diligence become the foundation of their security. …

“… Now the great lie, you see, is that if a man puts his … hope in God, that it is an introduction to austerity—that it is synonymous with a dull life, if you like, a less-than-fulfilled life. … But you will notice that this belief is absolutely untrue. Because look how God is described here. He is the God, notice, ‘who richly provides us with everything’ for our enjoyment, who gives us all things richly to enjoy.”

MATTHEW 16:24–26“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’”

Commentary from the sermon “‘What Will It Profit a Man…?’” by Alistair Begg:

“If we regard life as no more than this ordinary physical frame, and if we determine to give ourselves entirely to getting out of it whatever we can, then, says Jesus, we actually lose life in the fullest sense. We end up existing, according to Jesus, but not actually living. …

“… Jesus is not making a statement here about a punishment factor. Rather, He is pointing out what happens when a person chooses to live their life in a certain way. If you try and make sense of it all, if you try and orient it all around yourself and who you are and what you are and what you have and what you’ve achieved and what you’ve done, then, says Jesus, you will actually lose your life.”

ECCLESIASTES 9:7–9 “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Case against Self-Sufficiency” by Alistair Begg:

“Go ahead and have a lovely meal. Go ahead and put on your perfume. Go ahead and love your wife. Go ahead and cuddle your kids. Go ahead and welcome your neighbors. Do all of that! Because now that I’ve understood the overarching purpose for my existence, I can make sense of my days.

“But until I’ve understood the overarching purpose of my existence, my days are ultimately meaningless. My life is flat. It’s a sterile promontory. And eventually, they will say of us as they said of others before us: ‘What was his name? What was her name?’ Let me tell you where that never happens: it never happens in heaven, ’cause God never, ever, ever forgets the name of His children. And He writes them down in a book, and He seals them for all of eternity (Rev. 3:5.)”

PSALM 90:14“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”

Commentary from the sermon “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by Alistair Begg:

“Listen to Saul of Tarsus, who, if religious orthodoxy gave satisfaction, should’ve been the most satisfied man in the whole world. He says, ‘When I finally realized where I stood before God, I recognize that all of that was a pile of garbage as well’ (Phil. 3:8, paraphrased). That’s why external religion won’t satisfy your soul either: because external religion is earthly. Manmade rules can’t satisfy the soul. Someone says, ‘Stand up, sit down, go here, go there, do this, do that, do the next thing.’ Does that satisfy? No, it doesn’t satisfy. It may satisfy our quest for neatness. It may satisfy a desire for legalism. It may satisfy some sense of longing for the numinous, as it were—for that great feeling of transcendence as a result of sitting in a rather cold, quiet building. But it won’t give satisfaction to the soul, because only He who made the soul can fill the soul. …

“If our souls can have no solid satisfaction in earthly things, the only way we’re going to find it is in the unfailing love of God. Isn’t that what he says? ‘Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love.’ The unfailing love of God. Where is it displayed? In the cross of Christ: that God recognized our predicament to be so grave that He sent His Son as the only answer to the problem of our casual and passive indifference and willful rebellion; that God loved us so much that He was determined to go to that extent. Having displayed it, He wants us to discover it.”

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Commentary from the sermon “Thankfulness: A Mark of Grace” by Alistair Begg:

“There are things in your life and mine that do not immediately go in the category of ‘good’ that God has brought into our lives[.] … His transforming things for our good to create a spirit of thankfulness is not about giving us the government we think is best. It’s not about making sure that our family life is always intact. It’s not about making sure that everybody lives for one hundred years and that we all go on fine together. If it were, then frankly, we have nothing of which to speak, because [we are] riddled with pain and with disappointment and collapse and confusion and all manner of things. And yet we’re going to declare that God is good in all circumstances.

“How could this ever be? Because the ultimate goodness to which He works is to conform us to the image of His Son and to prepare us for the day when we will stand with Him in glory. And all the affairs of time and the things that ravish our minds now will then be seen to have fallen away, like scaffolding having been raised around a vast structure, so that all of the glory and beauty of it may now be seen, and He will kick all the scaffolding away. It will fall away!”

EXODUS 20:17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Other Man’s Grass” by Alistair Begg:

“What ever happened to biblical contentment? What ever happened to satisfaction in the awareness of the fact that God has not pledged himself to baptize our materialistic urgencies into orthodox Christianity? There is nowhere in the whole Bible that assumes that we’re going to be healthy, wealthy, and wise as a result of our commitment to Jesus Christ. And to teach it that way is an absolute violation of the Bible. And yet we hear it all the time, day in and day out: ‘I put Jesus first in my life, and I have scored more touchdowns now than I ever did. I put Jesus first in my life, and you oughta come and drive in my car. I put Jesus first in my life, and my company has gone through the roof in its profits.’ … It doesn’t sound like the words of Jesus, does it? ‘If anyone would like to follow me, let him take up his cross every day, die to himself, and follow me’ (Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; paraphrased). … We’ve got it so upside down and [have lived] with it for so long that when somebody turns the Scriptures the right side up for us, it starts to sound like heresy to us.”


HEBREWS 13:5–6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

Commentary from the sermon “Security: Looking to the Lord” by Alistair Begg:

“Two men may sit in their office and say, ‘If I do not get this move, I am finished. …’ Another person says, ‘I’ll leave it in the hands of God. I have worked as hard as I may work. I haven’t been involved in impurity. I haven’t scraped. I haven’t been involved in dishonesty. And God, who provides with me, for me, richly all things to enjoy in His providential care is the one who brought me to today, and He’ll bring me to tomorrow.’

“… If we grab for things, scrape for things, and scramble for things, we will never be content with them when we get them. If, however, we have an approach to life and to possessions and to things that may be entrusted to our care that is to take from the providence of God what He deigns for our wellbeing, then we will be able to live in the realm of being content with what we have. So our secret lies, then, in the provision of God and in the promises of God. … God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Heb. 13:5, NIV). … We can rest secure in the care of a God who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we can ask or even imagine (Eph. 3:20).”

LUKE 12:15 “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”

Commentary from the sermon “The Parable of the Rich Fool” by Alistair Begg:

“Covetousness and greed [are] not simply represented with our hands full, holding on, but also with our hands empty, grabbing on. So Jesus says, ‘Look out. Watch. Be on your guard. Take positive action.’ That's what the phrase here means: to ward off the encroachments of this life-squeezing enemy. In other words, He gives very practical advice …: ‘Be on your guard against all kinds of greed’—the greed which wants more than I have, the greed which wants to keep all that I have and to prevent others ever from sharing in my portion. So the word of warning is then matched by a word of wisdom. And here, in essence, is the principle: ‘A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ …

“… Whether we like it or not, we have to recognize that power and influence, that prestige and recognition are more tightly bound to possessions in our world than we are prepared to admit. … And what Jesus is saying is this: an individual will not have any more life who has a lot of possessions, nor any less life who has [few] possessions. So the idea of grabbing hold of life by grabbing hold of things is fatuous. That’s the principle He lays down.”


Thankful Living

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