Radical Contentment - 1

How a Christian Maintains the Balance between Desires and Contentment

Joshua 14:6-12

Listen to this message preached (mp3)


2 Nov, 2014

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Heb 10:36)


A.    There is a remarkable balance in the Christian life that every Christian needs

B.     One that lies between Desire (what you want), and Contentment (what you already have)

C.     They seem so opposite, and yet, in Christ, they are perfectly matched

D.    Here is how we normally view the Christian’s life: Boring, un-ambitious, poor, restrained, limited, no fun – all in the name of “being content”

E.     Yet, here is how we view the life of the world: exciting, challenging, striving for success, prosperity, reaching for the stars – all in the name of “being happy”

F.      Hmmmm. Neither is right by themselves!

G.    There is another way - a better way – Caleb is our example!


II.    Message


A.    Contentment is Our First Need (Josh 14:6-12)


1.      Contentment is a deep, sense of rest, and satisfaction with yourself and your accomplishments right now

2.      Desire is a deep unrest due to a need

3.      Believe me, BOTH are normal feelings of the human heart.

4.      Neither is ever obtained outside of a growing relationship with Jesus Christ

5.      So, the world rushes headlong into…


a.       Marrying the wrong person – thinking it will bring satisfaction

b.      Changing jobs – to seek satisfaction in doing something different

c.       Buying more stuff – a woman’s delight many times – just leads to immense debt


6.      Contentment HAS to be the first priority


a.       Isaac had to wait 40 years for his wife – and notice how that he was not stressed out but quite restful in his father’s care of his situation

b.      Joseph had to put up with over 13 years in slavery and then prison before his dream (his desire) came true – it was a passionate dream too

c.       Caleb was content with the promise of God for a piece of property - Caleb was promised a rather large mountain


1)      But he had to endure 45 years of battles, and waiting and doing without

2)      He was content to wait, but at the same time, PASSIONATE about obtaining that promise of God


7.      A Christian’s Contentment is the priority throughout the entire Bible!


a.       Content with wages FIRST (Luke 3:14)

b.      Content with who you are, what you have and what you don’t have (Philp 4:11)

c.       Content with whatever possessions you currently have (1Tim 6:3-10; Prov 30:8,9; Heb 13:5)


1)      That includes Your Clothes and Food (1Tim 6:8)

2)      When was the last time you were just simply thankful for the clothes you have and the food you have? Start there, and then you will have the right foundation for expanding your wardrobe without getting immodest and carnal!


d.      In Your Marital State (1Cor 7:27)


1)      Married? Praise God

2)      Unmarried? Praise God

3)      God will accept our praise more than our complaining spirit


e.       In Your Salvation – aren’t you glad you are saved?


1)      You cannot be MORE saved than you are now!

2)      None of this “seeking for a second and third blessing”

3)      Praise God for GREAT forgiveness – the mercy and grace of God


f.       In whatever state you are in – be content, and find lasting joy and peace that passes all understanding (Philp 4:11-13)


B.     Contentment is More Important Than Success (Ps 37:16; 1Tim 6:6)


1.      All the success in the world will never satisfy – Solomon proved this, and the whole book of Ecclesiastes is a record of all that he accomplished, and how empty he still felt – “all is vanity”

2.      To the Christian, the goal is NOT success, prosperity, or even your happiness


a.       The goal in life is finding all you need in your walk with Jesus Christ (Col 2:6)

b.      Learning about resting in Christ, is the first step – most important step to sanity

c.       It’s amazing to bit by bit discover that all we need has already been supplied by Jesus Christ – not in our religious acts, or going to religious places – but in the Person of Jesus Christ!


1)      In Christ is Real Life (John 1:3,4)

2)      In Christ is Eternal Life – abundant eternal life (1 John 5:11)

3)      Righteousness (2Cor 5:21)

4)      In Christ is every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3)

5)      In Christ is every spiritual need met (1Cor 1:29,30)

6)      Even the whole Trinity of God is IN HIM (Col 2:9)

7)      Our own completeness (Col 2:10)

8)      All the fullness of everything there is, is IN HIM (Col 1:16-19)

9)      Not IN anything else!


3.      That’s why the fundamentals of Christianity start with developing your personal walk with Jesus Christ


a.       Daily Bible reading – consistent, systematic reading and learning it

b.      Daily, persistent praying about everything, every need, every worry, every hurt and sorrow, every thrill – not on and off praying

c.       Assembling together with other believers in church and Bible Studies

d.      Doing the little things that are God’s will (Mt 6:33)


4.      All of these things are designed by the Lord to help ANYBODY find their rest in Christ – you are NOT going to find it anywhere else! And there is no other way (friends, drink, drug, hypnosis, philosophy, theory – only following the life of Jesus Christ)!

5.      But Contentment is only one half of the way to live!