This will be the first in a series of three Bible studies here in the month of November on "THANKFULNESS", leading up to Thanksgiving. We hope you will be encouraged and challenged by this timely topic, and have a very blessed Thanksgiving.
There is a definite connection between being CONTENT, and being THANKFUL. They go together, as we shall discover in this study. I think it is safe to say we are living in a society that has become quite discontent, and therefore, quite ungrateful. It seems that no matter how much some people have, they always want more. Let us look at 4 verses that exhort us to be CONTENT.
First, "Be Content with your WAGES". Luke 3:14
In today’s world, we ought to be thankful just to have a job! When was the last time you thanked your employer for providing work to earn a living? Far too many only have words of criticism and complaining when it comes to the work place. The Bible says we are to be content with our wages.
Second, "Be Content with such THINGS as ye have" (Heb. 13:5). Note that, according to this verse, COVETOUSNESS is the opposite of CONTENTMENT. God has instructed us, in one of the Ten Commandments, to avoid covetousness (greed). So the apostle Paul challenges us to be content with such things as we have. That's good advice. Gratefulness ought to characterize our hearts, not greed. As Christians, we are to live for Christ, not the “THINGS” of this world (I John 2:15). We should be thankful for those blessings God gives us, and follow the example of Moses in Heb. 11:26 who "esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt".
Third, "Be Content with FOOD and Raiment" (I Tim. 6:6-8). According to Scripture, if you have the basic necessities of life, be thankful. Many do not. Remember, you brought nothing into this world, and you will carry NOTHING out. See the words of Jesus to the rich fool in Luke 12: "This day your soul will be required of you, then whose shall all these "things" be?" Paul wrote: GODLINESS with contentment is great gain. How you live is more important than what you have.
Fourth, "Be Content in “whatever STATE you are in” (Phil. 4:11). No matter what our economic standing, Paul exhorts us to be content. Why? “My God shall supply all your NEED” (verse 19). Note the ATTITUDE of Agur in Proverbs 30:8-9, "Give me neither poverty nor riches--feed me with the food allotted to me--lest I be full and deny You, and say 'Who is the Lord?', or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God". That was a very wise philosophy of life, don't you think?
Next week: Another Bible study on Thankfulness.