What Does It Mean to Be Content in All Circumstances?

Contentment is not in what we eat, do, or where we live. Contentment is being satisfied in all circumstances of life regardless of what is happening. The contentment in our hearts has to be solely focused on God because only He can satisfy.

Rebecca Gordon
Man in an office reclining back

I will use the phrase “in these uncertain times” in this context because in all circumstances we endure. How would you react if Jesus asked you to come and follow Him, leaving everything you have known behind? The disciples left what they had known but they left knowing that they chose to follow Jesus.

I am sure the disciples had many concerns about food and comfort. Diving into an unknown circumstance takes faith to trust God that He is leading you along the way. Life is enduring the uncertain, and exciting in all of that God is and has given us. Contentment is not knowing what’s ahead, it’s knowing that God has got your back and He won’t ever leave your side.

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:6-11).

Content in All Circumstances

In Philippians 4:12-13, Paul speaks about the secret to being content. Paul states that “I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

God created us, so He knows exactly what we need when we need it. Think about the times when you did not know how the situation was going to unfold. This situation is like the times we are living in now. COVID-19 was not expected by most of the world to come and devastated many countries and its peoples. We did not know how to function properly because our everyday norm was interrupted and, essentially, changed.

Psalm 118:24 states, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We rejoice and be content because God has given us another day. We are not guaranteed tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1). The Bible also states, in Matthew 6:33-34, that we should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” 

Contentment is not in what we eat, do, or where we live. Contentment is being satisfied in all circumstances of life regardless of what is happening. Sickness is not what we were originally designed to battle with before sin entered the world. Everyday someone dies, has cancer, has depression, or so many other horrid things that come about.

But if we keep our focus on the negatives all the time then we will never be content. All of the good and bad are a part of life. The contentment in our hearts has to be solely focused on God because only He can satisfy.

Patient Endurance

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:2-8).

If we are not content, then we will do everything we can to find that contentment, whether it is through worldly things — like entertainment or through money — which is perishable and not sustainable. Our happy place, the place of comfort brings us temporary contentment. Let’s get real here, patience is not easy to be consistent in if we are constantly searching for contentment in things other than God.

But if we take heed and follow God’s voice in our life’s circumstances, then we will know we are in good hands. In John 10:28-29, the Bible states, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Jesus knew the burdens He was about to face when He died on the cross.

Do you think He was content in dying for us even though He did not deserve to or if it didn’t lead to eternal salvation? God loves us so much that He willingly took our sins and sacrificed Himself so that we could live. We can live close to the Father because of Jesus. So, why be afraid of the unknown when God says that you are His child and that no one can snatch you out of His hand?

A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed (Proverbs 17:22).

The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! (Psalm 22:26).

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).

A Closing Prayer

Father, you know every question and concern in our hearts. God, I thank you for all of the blessings that you have given. I give thanks to you, Father, more for loving us despite our downfall. I pray that our contentment will always be found in you alone. I pray that those who are going through the fire right now that they will have peace and contentment knowing that you are walking alongside them. Thank you, Father, for this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Deagreez


Rebecca Gordon has a bachelor’s in psychology and is engaged to a wonderful man named Joseph. Her favorite time of year is spring because of the many flowers it brings about. She loves to go to the beach, hike, and explore new places. She loves God with all of her heart and will serve Him all the days of her life. She has a blog site and is planning to earn her master’s in biblical counseling. 


Originally published September 03, 2020.