So far I have completed 19 Bible studies! Praise the Lord! It really is only by His strength that I am continuing to muster out topics and studies and Bible verses to complete this task of completing 27. And my goal for today is 20, so I'm almost there :)
Anyway, just thought I would give you all a sneak peek at one of the studies... It spoke to me as the Lord helped me write it, so go ahead, take yourself back to the 3rd or 6th grade, and see how the Lord speaks to you (although I think this lesson is for all ages!)
THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT
Opening Activity: Begin to tell the girls how you have the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
What if I told you that I knew how to make the best chocolate chip cookies in the whole wide world? I mean, these cookies... mmm... the chocolate just melts in your mouth. Oh, and right when you pull them out of the oven they're soooo warm and gooey. I'm telling you. There is nothing like these chocolate chip cookies.
Would you want the recipe for these cookies???
Okay, I can tell you the recipe. But there's one ingredient I can't tell you. Because it's my "secret ingredient." Your cookies probably won't be as good as mine, but I'll tell you the whole recipe except for that one secret ingredient.
That wasn't very nice now was it? To tell you that I knew how to make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, and to tell you how delicious they are, and then to ask you if you wanted the recipe, and then to not give you that one secret ingredient!
It's a good thing Paul didn't do the same thing to us in the Bible when he tells us that he has finally learned the secret to being content!!!
What does it mean to be content? 1 Timothy 6:6 tells us, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
But what does it mean to truly be content? And how can I truly be content?
Being content means to be in a state of peaceful happiness. To be completely satisfied with your circumstances and not wishing for more.
What are some areas in which you find it difficult to be content?
We learn from the Bible that the things on this earth aren't meant to make us content. Nothing in this world will ever fully satisfy our desires. That's why, especially in the States, you see so many unhappy people. Especially celebrities. You would think that they would be the happiest people in the world! They make so much money; they can buy themselves literally anything they could ever want. But these are the very people we see who are the most unhappy.
Why do you think this is?
Because when we have a lot of stuff, or when we finally get whatever it is we think will make us happy, we realize there is always something "better." We always want more.
Hebrews 13:5 "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.' "
Look at that verse. It says to be content with what you have. Why? Because God is enough. He will never leave you. And he will never forsake you. This is how we know that the things on this earth aren't meant to satisfy us - because this verse just plainly told us that God will never leave us - and we can be content in that simple fact.
Now, being content isn't something that comes naturally. It is something we must learn.
It seems like when there is something you aren't content about, your mind seems to always think about that one thing. It consumes your thoughts every waking moment of the day. You go to sleep thinking about it. You wake up thinking about it. This thing becomes an idol in your mind and it steals your joy.
Just think, what is the opposite of being content?
Discontent - not satisfied with one's circumstances.
And when we aren't satisfied, we aren't happy. When we allow something on earth to steal our joy, it shows that we aren't putting our complete hope in the Lord. Because if we were putting our hope in the Lord, there would be nothing to steal our joy because our God is always consistent. He never changes! He never leaves us, and He never forsakes us!
Psalm 16:11 "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
The things on this earth aren't meant to satisfy us. Whether that be toys, clothes, relationships, good grades, etc. Only God can truly satisfy us 100%.
And you know, there are those times when we think to ourselves, "There is no way I can be content in these circumstances! I failed a test. My dog ran away. My best friend lied to me. How can I possibly be content?"
Now, here comes the good part! Paul tells us the secret ingredient of being content:
Listen to what the apostle Paul tells us in Philippians. He tells us that he learned the secret of being content. The way he says that is almost the same as when someone tells you their recipe has a "secret ingredient." When someone has a secret, you instantly become super curious, don't you? With everything in you, you want to know what that secret is! Well... Paul tells us. This is a secret that he can't keep to himself! He has finally learned the secret to being content!
Philippians 4:11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
What does Paul tell us the secret is to being content?
Realizing that I can do all things through Christ!
This is what we were just talking about. The verse says -
I can do ALL things THROUGH CHRIST...
I can BE CONTENT - How? THROUGH CHRIST!
Doesn't this sound like what we just talked about? That nothing on this earth is truly going to satisfy your desires. Only God can completely satisfy you. In Psalm 16:11 we learned that God will fill us with joy in His presence.
When we finally realize that nothing on this earth is meant to make us content, that is when we will discover for ourselves the secret to being content, like Paul did. Realizing that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Therefore, I will go to God, and I will trust Him to satisfy me. And I will wait for Him to fill me with joy in His presence. For only there will I be truly satisfied and content!"
APPLICATION: Think of an area in your life where you do not feel content. Choose this week to memorize the short verse, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Recite this verse in your head when you are feeling discontent and choose to allow God to satisfy you - because He is enough!
KEY PRAYER POINTS:
Praise God because He alone can completely satisfy you.
Ask Him to forgive you for the times when you have tried to let things on earth make you content.
Ask the Lord to help you look to Him to satisfy your desires.