Remember, a life of contentment was provided for you at the Cross of Jesus Christ. The first key to a life of contentment is to learn to be independent of external circumstances.
Another key is to apply the Cross to any areas of discontentment in our hearts. I will start explaining this one with an instance that occurred in Exodus 15.
God had just delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians by splitting the Red Sea. The Israelites walked through on dry ground while the Egyptians were drowned behind them. From there Moses led them into the wilderness for 3 days.
During this time, they came across no water. They finally came to a place with water, called Marah. But they could not drink the water because it was bitter. The people started murmuring and complaining. Moses cried to the Lord. In response, the Lord showed Moses a tree. Moses cast it into the water and it was made sweet.
There are many types and shadows in the Old Testament. This is one of them. The tree represents the Cross of Jesus Christ which stands for His sacrificial, and substitutionary, death, burial and resurrection. In the New Testament the Cross is referred to as a tree (e.g. 1 Peter 2:24 and Galatians 3:13).
The Hebrew word translated bitter, when speaking of the bitter waters of Marah, can also mean discontentment. Discontentment is the gateway to bitterness. If discontentment is not dealt with, then bitterness will result. And bitterness is like poison to the soul. That is why it is so important that we learn to be content.
The tree made the bitter waters sweet. The Cross of Jesus Christ turns discontentment into contentment. We are to cast the tree into the waters of discontentment in our souls that they may become sweet. We deal with discontentment by applying the Cross. How do we do this?
We apply the Cross by taking the time to meditate, consider, imagine and ponder all that was accomplished for us at the Cross. A revelation of the finished work of Jesus Christ brings contentment. As you consider the Cross the bitter waters of your soul will become sweet.
If you are feeling discontent because you are struggling with sin and you cannot seem to overcome it, then take time to imagine Jesus taking all your sin on the Cross. Think about Him being made sin so that you could be made righteous. See your sin nature, your old man, being crucified with Christ. See it being buried with Him. Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God.
If you are feeling discontent because you are struggling with sickness, then take time to imagine Jesus taking all your sickness on the Cross that you might be healthy. See Him taking stripes on His back for your healing.
If you are feeling discontent because you are struggling financially, then take time to imagine Jesus taking your poverty on the Cross that you might be rich.
A life of contentment has been provided for you. Will you take it?