"O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore."
David learned to calm and quiet his soul. He knew what it meant to be content. In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul says the same thing and describing it as a learned secret, "I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content...I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Paul, like David, realized his contentment came from the Lord. David says contentment comes from hoping in the LORD always. Paul describes contentment in whatever situation comes through being united with Christ; making the point abundantly clear in verse 19, "My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." In Romans 8:32 he said the same thing, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"
The root word for content is sufficient. It is our fallen human condition to be discontent thinking whatever our state it is not enough. If only I had a little more.... (each of us can fill in the blank). It might be money, freedom, comfort, friends; the list is endless, isn't it? Our discontent is an inherited state. In the garden, Eve was not content, even though she, unlike Carol, had the perfect, sinless husband (I need an emoji here). It seems she would have been content living in paradise, yet Satan's questions caused her to question God's goodness and her need to be self-sufficient to become like the all-sufficient God. David and Paul learned their sufficiency came from God and not from themselves.
In 2 Kings 17, we read of Israel being taken captive by Assyria. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 gives four reasons why Israel was overthrown. Three of the reasons will come as no surprise: verses seven through nine say they were idolaters, immoral and put God to the test. The fourth reason, in verse ten, is somewhat unexpected: the people were grumblers. They were never satisfied with God's provision which ultimately meant they were not satisfied with God. When I am discontent, do I also grumble against God?
John 4:34 provides insight into what satisfied Jesus. While the disciples were in Samaria getting food, Jesus visits with the woman at the well. Upon their return, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat. His response is "I have food to eat that you do not know about...My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work." His statement was not about physical food but about where He found satisfaction and contentment. Knowing His Father's sufficiency better than anyone else, Jesus knew His Father would supply His every need. Jesus' responsibility was to do the Father's will and finish His assigned work. He found contentment in doing what His Father wanted without grumbling.
Just as Jesus was obedient to accomplish His Father's work, Paul in Titus 3:1, tells us "to be ready for every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."
Sovereign and Gracious Father, forgive me for acting as though what I do for You is more than You do for me—as if You owed me anything! I realize that is the sin of grumbling, not being content with every good and perfect gift You provide. Holy Spirit, mature me to learn the lesson Jesus understood, so I, too, would find rest in obedience to His will. I want to be Your possession zealous for good works.