Contentment!

Good morning. Let me begin devotion by asking you this question, “How many of you are feeling content today?” That sounds like a strange thing to ask. Maybe because contentment is rather rare these days. We are more prone to complaining; in fact, that seems to be distinctive of Singaporeans isn’t it? Why are we so discontent?

So, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ recently hit the cinemas. I haven’t had a chance to watch it; and because I’m not crazy rich, I didn’t go to watch it yesterday when movie tickets were at holiday prices, S$14 per ticket if I’m not mistaken. Maybe another day. 

I was thinking to myself, “Why am I even interested to watch the movie in the first place?” Well, perhaps it’s a romantic comedy and I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. But I haven’t really watched a Hollywood romantic comedy in years. There aren’t that many particularly good ones in my opinion. I’d fancy myself a Japanese romantic comedy any day. Personal preference. 

Maybe it’s a chance to catch a glimpse of Singaporean actors and actresses and celebrate an all-Asian cast in a major Hollywood production. Asian-pride yo! But no, my Asian-pride isn’t worth S$14. So what was motivating me to consider watching the film? Part of it, I admit, was the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the lifestyle of rich people. After all, that’s the premise of the show right? Crazy Rich Asians. 

I get to view a world to which I am not privy. Vicarious living. The opulent lifestyle. The glitz. The glamour. 

And the subtle envy I feel is not confined to the screen. I have a friend, my ACS classmate, whom I follow on Instagram. And he frequently wines and dines with the who’s who in the Singapore entertainment industry. He travels frequently, stays at high class hotels. Just yesterday, he posted pictures of him with some of the actors and actresses of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ at the movie premiere in Singapore. 

Discontentment is something I acknowledge is present in my life and something I have to deal with. What then is the basis for contentment? God tells us in His Word from the book of Hebrews 13:5-6 “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?””

It is the assurance that God is with us that we ought to be content. God is our provider. God is our protector. God is our helper. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it; He will provide when we choose to trust Him and obey Him. The phrase “as good as his word” finds its fullest expression in God. He is true to His promise. He is true to His word. He won’t leave us or abandon us. 

More importantly, He knows that our souls are not created to be satisfied in things; our souls are created to be satisfied in Him.

More importantly, He knows that our souls are not created to be satisfied in things; our souls are created to be satisfied in Him. Which is why the text urges us not to love money, but to be content in God. The implications are pretty mind-blowing if you think about it. 

All of advertising is trying to convince us that if only we bought this or owned that, we would be happy and satisfied. Or at least until the newest model debuts or the latest collection arrives. God says you can be content in both what you do have and even what you don’t have, if you have God. God is all satisfying. “In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever”, says the Psalmist in Psalm 16:11. God is all satisfying.

I had a taste of this many years back during my church’s overnight prayer meeting. It was a season of uncertainty in my life: vocation-wise, relationship-wise… I wondered to myself as I listened to testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness in the lives of my church-mates, “How about me, God?” And at that moment, God spoke to me the same message of Hebrews 13, “I am with you.” My circumstances did not change that night, nor did the provision of God come immediately. But the knowledge and assurance that He was with me, was enough. I left that meeting with peace and contentment in my heart. God indeed is all satisfying. I pray that you too will experience this for yourselves. 

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