When we face the winds of adversity in our lives, one of the areas under attack is our own feelings of competency or adequacy. Can we get through this season without falling apart or going to pieces? Are we able to manage these trying times and stay on top of them rather than them getting the best of us? Can we even be a support and encouragement to others during a crisis, and possibly lead others through it? These are very normal and common questions many ask themselves in the stillness and quietness of the day or night. These and other questions were certainly being wrestled with by the original recipients of this letter.
Our author has an answer from God to all of us and it is found in Hebrews 13:5-6. “Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.’ So, we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” The writer starts these verses with an admonition against covetousness and an exhortation to be content. We will examine contentment momentarily, but first let’s focus on the reasoning behind the warning of love of money or material things. I believe it is for basis and this consideration alone. We must abandon all trust, security, and safety in what is unreliable before we can rest in the source of what is truly reliable. Immersing ourselves in material things or surrounding ourselves with earthly things to make us feel secure ends up being no security at all. These earthly things we are trusting in to make ourselves feel better become a substitute for faith in God’s loving care, provision, and protection of His children. Anyone or anything we put our ultimate trust in other than God will be unreliable and will leave us disappointed, disillusioned, and even devastated in the end.
“Being content” is knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that with God we are enough, and we have enough. He is sufficient for our every need and therefore our feelings of adequacy or competency to handle anything in life comes from realizing and respecting who God is. Paul certainly learned of the sufficiency of God’s grace. Please read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. God did not take away Paul’s thorn, but did promise Him the grace to deal with it and handle it well. To the Greeks this word “content” spoke of possessing unfailing strength. “I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). As Christians we learn that through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we have more than enough resources within us so that we do not have to depend upon the unreliable substitutes outside of us. “Whom do I have in heaven but you? I desire no one but you on earth. My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability” (Psalm 73:25-26).
God will never fail us. Everyone else and everything else will eventually falter or fail but God never will. He is our portion forever. He is our infinite and sufficient resource for everything we need.
We started this passage with many questions, but the only real question we should ask ourselves at this point is this: Am I content with what I have? The basis for such contentment is God’s promise of His presence and His power of His ability to supply or furnish all we need to meet the necessities of life. Do we believe God is enough?