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Comfort vs. Contentment

God has made many promises to us, but comfort is not one of them.

My family started 2012 feeling very comfortable. At age 9 and almost 5, our boys are easy now. No strollers. No diapers. No buckling them into car seats. They sleep well. They don’t get sick very often. In January we took them to Walt Disney World. It was a great and easy experience. We were comfortable.

The previous year we had attended a workshop at our church for couples considering being foster parents. It was easy to talk about the difference we could make in a child’s life. We had good intentions, but we kept delaying and not committing. Why? We came up with excuses, but mostly we were comfortable.

Then we had a moment :)

And that moment led to a surprise. Today my wife is 6 months pregnant. God has a sense of humor. This wasn’t our plan we wanted to say. We wanted to kick back and take it easy. God wanted us to raise another child. We wanted comfort. He wanted us to be content.

Often when Tiffany or I have to say “no” to one of our sons, my other son will bust out singing, “You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.” That drives each other crazy, but there’s some truth in that.

We wanted more comfort, but we didn’t need more comfort. We needed contentment. When we’re submitting to the leadership of the indwelling spirit of Christ, we find contentment, but we rarely find comfort.There’s a big difference between the two.

The apostle Paul wrote, “I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” Philippians 4:12-13 GNT

Throughout his missionary career, Paul faced many painful, uncomfortable moments in his life. He was beaten. He was shipwrecked. He was in chains. He was uncomfortable.

But he was content.

You can be comfortable without being content, and you can be content without being comfortable.

Tiffany is due in late January, and we couldn’t be happier about the growth of our family. The power of Christ allows us to face discomfort with joy. I can’t say we’re excited about the discomfort, but we are joyful about meeting our third son, and making another disciple, and finding contentment in following Christ. Contentment trumps comfort every single time.

What is God leading you to do that is uncomfortable?

Choose contentment over comfort. Choose it every time.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.