Life is much simpler when we choose to be satisfied with our basic needs supplied: food, clothing, and a roof over our head. Our happiness need not be dependent on how much we have, but instead it can be augmented by how thankful we are for what we do have. As sons of God, we have God’s promise of all sufficiency in all things (II Corinthians 9:8). So it makes sense to live a simple life of satisfaction and thankfulness by keeping our focus on the great spiritual abundance that we have from our heavenly Father rather than being unsatisfied because we want more than we need.
As God’s children, we can understand the reality that God provides what we need.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
God’s benefits are too numerous to remember them all, so we can be thankful that this verse doesn’t say “and remember all His benefits.” God only asks that we not forget them all. There are plenty of benefits to be grateful for when we consider the magnitude of what God has made available to us.
II Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
That’s a lot of “all’s”! The Greek word translated “sufficiency” in this verse means “a sufficiency of the necessaries of life.” God has provided us with such tremendous blessings so that we can abound to every good work and we can be satisfied.
The Epistle of I Timothy sets forth a wonderful truth.
I Timothy 6:6:
But godliness [a true, vital, spiritual relationship with God] with contentment is great gain.
So our satisfaction does not need to be dependent on how much we have. We can be content when we are thankful for what we do have. Take, for example, this story: A fisherman friend went out one day with high hopes of a great catch. But by the end of the day, he had only caught twelve fish instead of the fifty he had desired. On his way back to the harbor, he passed one of his fellow fishermen, who had a big smile on his face. “What are you so happy about?” our friend asked. The other fisherman responded, “I caught three fish today! That’s three more fish than I had this morning.” He was much happier and content with his three fish than our friend who had twelve. Why? Because he was thankful for what he had.
As born-again believers, we have so much more to be thankful for than a few fish, because God has made great abundance available to us in our lives. We choose to be thankful to God, because He—not the world—provides all things for us to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17).
II Corinthians 4:18:
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The things of God—the spiritual things that are not seen—are the things that last forever. Because we have God’s Word and His gift of holy spirit, we have access to those spiritual things. That is truly something to be thankful for.
Let your conversation [manner of life, character] be without covetousness; and be content [be satisfied] with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
God will never leave us or forsake us. The more we see that God is always there for us, the easier being content and satisfied becomes. We are then no longer concerned with what we might need, because we know that when we need it, God is right there to give it to us. It is easier to be thankful with what we have when we shed our concerns about what we may need in the future.
Let’s simplify our lives by focusing on the great spiritual abundance that we have from our heavenly Father. Let’s learn from God’s Word of the many things He has provided. We can then be content with all God supplies. After all, our happiness is not dependent on how much we have, but on how thankful we are for what God has given us.