CONTENTMENT IS A RESPONSE TO THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
In our first week, we start in Philippians 4:11b-13. In this letter, Paul is writing to the church at Philippi to help them understand more about what it means to follow Jesus. Paul shares how they can be content and even have joy regardless of their situation in life. This is something that Paul has had to learn from experience. His example of contentment in the face of difficulty is a lesson we can all learn from.
Bottom Line: God can help you be ok no matter what. We can’t promise kids that when they follow Jesus that everything in their life will work out just the way they want it to. However, we can promise them that even if life isn’t okay, God can help them be okay with their circumstances. We pray that no matter what kids are facing, they’ll learn to trust that God will give them what they need to get through it.
Next, we look at Hebrews 13:5, Don’t be controlled by love for money. Be happy with what you have. God has said, “I will never leave you. I will never desert you,” (NIrV). The writer of Hebrews knows something about contentment. The writer reminds us that nothing we own can ever make us happy. Our focus should be on our relationship with God.
Bottom Line: Stuff can’t keep you happy. Getting something new can be exciting, and even make you happy for a time. But as we know, that feeling of happiness doesn’t last forever because what we own was never meant to do that. We hope that kids leave with the idea that only God can satisfy their needs and give them joy in spite of what they do or don’t own.
In week three we head to a story found in 1 Kings 21:1-19, 27, where we discover what happens when King Ahab finds a plot of land he wants more than anything. But there’s a problem, Naboth owns the land, and this land has been in his family for generations. King Ahab and his wife Queen Jezebel go to extreme lengths to take that land for themselves. In the end though, King Ahab was miserable.
Bottom Line: Wanting what others have can make you miserable. Many kids in your environments have probably experienced this bottom line first hand. Yet, that doesn’t stop them the next time they find themselves working out whatever scheme they can to get something new that they’ve seen at a friend’s house or at school. We want kids to be aware that this happens and trust God to help them find contentment in what He’s already given to them.
We wrap up our study on contentment in Exodus 16:2-21 and 17:1-7 with a look at how God’s people respond to the wilderness. God rescued them from slavery in Egypt, yet when they find themselves in uncomfortable situations they complain that God doesn’t care about them and even long to return to Egypt. In spite of that, God continued to meet their needs in the wilderness providing what they needed the whole time.
Bottom Line: Don’t miss out on what you have now. If we’re only thinking about what we don’t have, we’ll miss being able to celebrate how God is taking care of us. It’s easy to find something else we think we need that will make us happy, but contentment is finding the joy in what God has provided right here and now. We pray that kids will start seeing the good in their life rather than complain and miss out.