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Paul indicates that to be satisfied with what we have is an attitude we learn. For example, children don’t ever seem to be content on their own. They want whatever they see.All too often, that same childish thinking continues into adulthood.
What brings us true satisfaction and fulfillment in life? How do we find lasting contentment? So much meaningless work and activity can crowd into our lives that it’s easy to lose sight of the way God designed life to be lived. Life is meant to be enjoyable, fulfilling, and satisfying — much more than merely existing or struggling to survive.

Truly happy people have found that fulfillment finds its source deep within and is largely unaffected by external surroundings or material possessions. The world, however, is opposed to this view. Several years ago, a U.S. news magazine conducted a survey, questioning people in various income categories. People with an annual income of $25,000 were asked how much money it would take for them to live “the American Dream.” The average answer was $54,000 annually. The same question was asked of people making $100,000 annually; their average answer was $192,000.

What do the results of this survey tell us? Until a person understands that living satisfied is an inner condition and a mindset, he will always think he needs a little more than what he currently has to reach that goal. This was also demonstrated when one ultra-wealthy man was asked how much it takes to be rich. “Just a little more” was his reply. For most people, it will always take “just a little more.”

Benjamin Franklin brought some sense to this subject when he said, “To be content makes a poor man rich, and discontent makes a rich man poor.” To enjoy this kind of fulfilled life on a daily basis, it is important for us to look to the right source. Our friends and family are unable to give us what we truly crave. When we look to people to be our source of satisfaction in life, we will be disappointed. The same will be true if we seek the approval of others, material possessions, power, or prestige because none of these can create the kind of lasting satisfaction we’re really looking for. Of course, a superficial sense of satisfaction can come from many sources, but that kind of satisfaction is always fickle and fleeting.

To be “satisfied” can be defined as the sense of having enough or doing enough; to be content; or to experience fulfillment and gratification. The problem is that the typical person never feels like he has actually reached the point of having or doing enough. This is why our entire perspective in life must be revamped to grasp the source of real fulfillment and lasting satisfaction.

Think about how fulfilling life can be with Jesus’ love, joy, and peace abounding in us. Jesus doesn’t change; He is always the same. He is committed to our success and ready to encourage us every step of the way. When we center our lives in Him, we become healthier and happier. We have a better outlook on life — and because we feel fulfilled, our relationships are richer. In Christ we are at peace inside.

Of course, the key to lasting fulfillment is to become deeply connected with the riches of a relationship with God. The person who is satisfied in the Lord understands that He alone is the source of true fulfillment, abundant provision, and lasting security.

The Apostle Paul states this clearly:
…For I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
(Phil. 4:11-13 TEV)
Paul indicates that to be satisfied with what we have is an attitude we learn. For example, children don’t ever seem to be content on their own. They want whatever they see. Marketing agencies understand this, so they place products that appeal to children on lower shelves — eye level with the target consumer. That’s why a mom is often seen in a store with her crying toddler because the child can’t have something he or she has just seen. Children aren’t satisfied with what they have; they want what they don’t have.

For many people, this attitude doesn’t change much from childhood to adolescence. Teenagers yield to peer pressure, chasing after the latest fad in clothing because “everyone has it.” All too often, that same childish thinking continues into adulthood. Some people never outgrow a continual feeling of dissatisfaction because of the things they don’t have. And the proverbial pursuit to “keep up with the Joneses” — having the latest fashions, the newest cars, and so forth — is often as common in the Christian world as it is anywhere else in society. This dissatisfaction robs people’s joy and clouds their lives with discontentment.

Paul speaks of an attitude of contentment again in First Timothy 6:6 (AMP): “[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.” Paul describes contentment as a sense of inward sufficiency. It is to be our source of immense profit.

Read again what Paul says in Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” This same idea is found in Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

Satisfied living comes when we learn to live from the inside out. When we center ourselves in Him, we discover the depth of Jesus’ love for us, and this brings the fulfillment we long for. It is from this point that we discover the power and security of living a contented life.

When we’re content and at peace with God, we can be at peace with ourselves. His peace brings confidence, no matter who we’re with or how intimidating someone may seem.

Dennis Burke Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Dennis Burke, Ph.D.
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Since 1979, Dennis Burke has led multitudes of believers into the biblical principles of faith, healing, love, prosperity, and righteousness. Through the Insights: the Way to a New Life magazine, books, eBooks, CDs, and mp3 resources, Dennis has brought revelation knowledge on the truths of God's Word. He has taught Christians everywhere to know God more deeply and overcome the challenges life brings through faith in God's Word.

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