“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11)
Contentment does not necessarily mean happiness, although it can at times include that emotion, instead it means being satisfied. As beings created with free will if there is one thing that can define us it is that we are rarely satisfied, from our first parents in the garden to something you saw today, there is always something more to be obtained. Those items go far beyond our needs, and they are not always a bad or detrimental thing.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2nd Peter 3:18)
You should want that.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
Every day and in all things.
The lost cannot begin to contemplate these truths, for they are always seeking for the next new form of contentment, and they have no place to look but in the world, they have no place to search for save those items mentioned in 1st John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Once they find that contentment, that item, place or person that fulfills that desire, the desire returns after a very short time for that next new moment of satisfaction.
You know these truths for you were once as they are, but one day you knew, in a way that only you can convey, that there was more, more above everything that this world can offer. And then God sent someone to you to introduce you to Him.
I have been reading the Scriptures for over thirty years now, and there is always something new that the Holy Spirit wants to show me, a new revealing of truth, a correction to a misinterpretation that I may have had, the next place of contentment and resting in the Lord. And then comes the desire for more.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psalm 42:1)
I do not believe that when we reach heaven we will be content in the context presented here, for there will always be more of the Living God to know, we will always be striving to grow in our knowledge of Him, and that is wonderful news. Rest yes, contentment in the knowledge of the Holy that He has seen fit to bless us with, yes indeed, but always searching for more, always desiring to know more of Him who has called us to Himself.
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
Desire, contentment, desire, contentment, ad infinitum.
If only those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ could understand these truths, they would stop seeking for the pleasures of the world and start seeking the face of the Living God who can fulfill every desire of our heart. It is why I return to Psalm 16:11 so often, in it is the fulfillment of every desire ever known to mankind. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
They are on the path to death, we are on the path to life, it is why Paul by the power of the Holy Spirit was able to say, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
Adam had the entire world, yet it was not enough, Satan is for the time being the god of this world, yet even that is not enough for him. Abraham knew the truth, for God Himself said it to him, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1)
You have something waiting for you that is incomprehensible to the human mind, and even though we see it at this time as through a glass darkly, we can still see it. Be content in that and strive for more every day.