Contending for Contentment

Prayer Calm

“Of the increase of His… peace (shalom) there will be no end…” (Isa. 9:7, NKJV).

Did you know that shalom, the Hebrew word here for peace, holds many rich levels of meaning? Shalom includes the concepts of peace, rest, fullness, wholeness, prosperity, safety, soundness, tranquility, perfectness, welfare, harmony, completeness, health, the absence of agitation or discord… and contentment.

Holy Spirit pointed out to me that we can plug each of those into the above verse and personalize it like this: 

  • Of the increase of His peace in my life there will be no end…
  • Of the increase of His rest in my life there will be no end…
  • Of the increase of His fullness in my life there will be no end…
  • Of the increase of His wholeness in my life there will be no end…
  • Of the increase of His prosperity in my life there will be no end…

You get the idea. But I especially want to focus in on the last item in the list:

  • Of the increase of His contentment in my life there will be no end…

We need that, don’t we? We all need His contentment to be on the increase inside of us. The Apostle Paul shared out of his own journey that this had become his personal reality: “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” (Phil. 4:12b-13, NIV).

I appreciate it that he made sure to include the word “learned” in this description. I like the word “learned” because it portrays a process; a lengthy process. We are all on a learning curve when it comes to assimilating this “secret” of his. As elusive as it sometimes seems, Holy Spirit asserts emphatically here that we truly can do all things through Him who gives us strength.

When it comes to gratitude and contentment, we may be weak, but He is exceedingly strong, and He makes His own strength available to us. He will compassionately, relentlessly develop in us what is lacking.

Toward the beginning of this year, I had a significant dream. It has come back to my mind multiple times since then. In it, I saw an attractive piece of wall art. In a simple rectangle, it featured the phrase, “Contending for Contentment.” When I woke up, I knew God was communicating with me.

As I consider Paul’s words, and Isaiah’s words, and my dream, I come to this conclusion. Contentment is both a quality that Holy Spirit works into us increasingly as we surrender daily to Him… and a state of peace that we must sometimes fight to protect. There are moments when a spiritual battle must be engaged, before we pull through to that place of tranquility and rest on the inside. Using the mighty weapons of our warfare (2 Cor. 10:4), we will always triumph over interruptions to our shalom.

And so, daily, we wield the mighty sword of the Spirit. Daily, we wage the good fight of faith. As we do so, we will unfailingly experience this promised reality: Of the increase of His contentment, deep in our souls, there will be no end…

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How is your contentment journey going?

17 thoughts on “Contending for Contentment

  1. Jennifer, Let me begin here- I strive after being more Christlike each day, to run the race till I return to the Lord, to love others as Jesus loves me, to do all the Father has planned and purposed for me on planet earth.
    Contentment! To this I say- I must view daily that which I complain about, mentally or audibly. I must also consider that which I pray about. Then I can better understand that which is stirring in my Spirit and causing me unrest [no shalom]. When I am aware of these things, I can better move forward giving thanks and the Spirit of Shalom returns. len wisniewski

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    1. That really is such an extremely vital key, Len. Being able to identify where we lost our peace, so we can go back to that spot and pick it back up/slip back into it is such an important part of the learning process to live in His Shalom. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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  2. This is an important post, Jennifer. There are two additional thoughts that I had. 1) “Learning” indicates that the behavior doesn’t come naturally or easily. That’s certainly our experience with the flesh. 2) Jesus told us to pray for “our daily bread”, which definitely requires contentment. Unfortunately, I’ve had to get acquainted with contentment the hard way – by doing without. 🙄 I’d much prefer learning contentment through abundance! 👍🏼

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  3. being contented is not about what we have or do not have it is about as St. Paul wrote be contented in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. (he was in jail, beaten and hungry) His reflections on this time inspire. Shalom in its fullness to everyone. May all your circumstances improve but may you truly come to accept ‘Shalom’ in your hearts and lives. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (ie Shalom Peace and contentment). It is internal.

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannes! Yes, I have read quite a bit about ruach too, and also cherish it! How rich are the original languages! 🙂 I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, and pray that Daddy God pours out all His goodness on you! 🙂

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      1. Wow! That sounds incredibly enriching! I was blessed to study these languages some in college, but seven years worth would indeed be life changing! What would you like to do with them when you finish?

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      2. Those are some truly wonderful goals! May the Lord bless you in all your endeavors, and may His Holy Spirit be your Guide and Comforter every step of the way and in every huge and miniscule decision 🙂

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