God told Joshua that he was going to be with him and wouldn’t fail or forsake him.
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Paul says to be content and without covetousness (greed, love of money or material wealth of things). Content is happy with, satisfied, or not desiring more. We should be content because God said he won’t leave or forsake us. The Greek word for “leave” is uphold or sustain. Not sustain is to abandon, desert, or leave helpless. God said he won’t let us be helpless.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
In the Amplified Bible the verse emphasizes that God won’t leave us helpless; saying, I will not, will not, will not leave you.
Hebrews 13:5 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition) Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
We won’t be satisfied if we don’t take hold of the promise that God won’t fail us, won’t leave us helpless, won’t give us up, won’t leave us without support, and won’t let us down. The root is covetousness if we’re not satisfied or content. We can’t be content without being godly and contentment is a learned behavior. We were always seeking something to satisfy us when we were in sin. God wants our contentment to be in him, not in the things of life. Contentment is being pleased with what God gives us. It doesn’t mean we can’t have things, but we’re content with what God provides.
I Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Paul dictated the letter to the Philippians from prison where it was dark, smelly, without a shower or bathroom. He said he learned to be content. He could go through the hardships of life and being in the dungeon because his contentment was in God alone. Just having food and clothes does away with a lot of things – our house, car, and many other things. Paul knew he was not his own, but he was God’s. We’re bought with a price and we’re not our own (I Corinthians 6:20).
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
If we’re murmuring and complaining, there’s something wrong with our contentment. Covetousness (greed, love of money) is the root of evil. Diotrephes was proud, loved preeminence (to be superior), and was not content. To stay content, we have to be humble and remember we’re bought with a price and we aren’t our own.
III John: 9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not …I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them…and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
A missionary held a service at a leper colony. He asked if anyone had a song they’d like to sing. A woman whose ears and eyebrows were eaten away by the disease requested “Count Your Blessing.” The first verse says, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Count your blessings; Name them one by one…” With contentment, we’ll be thankful every day whatever our situation. Paul said to die was gain. He wanted to show Christ through all his life.
Philippians 1:20-21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness…Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
We have to forget every wrong in our past, to forgive and go on. The enemy will try to get us to focus on wrongs, hurts, and painful things. We have to cast down those thoughts and fight the enemy. If someone has something against us, Jesus said to go to them and be reconciled (Matthew 5:23-24). If someone won’t forgive us, we forgive them anyway. When Paul was in prison he wasn’t thinking about mean things people did to him, or about not having a shower and bathroom. He was trying to talk to the guard about Christ and pressing for the mark of heaven. Discontentment comes from a wrong focus. Our focus needs to be in the present and on showing Christ by our life.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend…Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God…
Job felt like he couldn’t find God, but he held on to the word he knew. We have to hold on to the word of God, when we feel we can’t find God in our darkest hours and everything is going wrong. God is purifying our dross. God wanted to prove that Job would not deny God through the trial. God got glory by the way Job went through the trial.
Job 23:8-12 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand…but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither …gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Naaman was healed of leprosy and wanted to give Elisha a gift but he refused. Gehazi was covetous and went after Naaman.
II Kings 5:15-20 And he returned to the man of God…said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said…I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused…But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha…said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman…in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
Gehazi lied to Naaman and then lied to Elisha to get what he wanted. Sadly Gehazi got leprosy and died that way.
II Kings 5:21-27…Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot…said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men… give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments…upon two of his servants…And when he came to the tower, he…bestowed them in the house…But he went…before his master. And Elisha said…Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said…Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money…garments…sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee…he went out from his presence a leper…
God wants us to be content. Paul had to learn to be content. Those who came out of Egypt murmured and complained because they weren’t content. Can we sing, “He Is All I Need”? If Paul murmured and complained in the dungeon, no one would have seen Christ through him. God said “I will not, will not, will not forsake thee.” Covetousness comes with deceit. Ananias and Sapphira wanted people to think well of them so they lied about the price they sold their possessions for. We can’t lie to man without it being a lie to God. God wants a holy people who are content with what he puts in our lives. We need to be temperate (have self control). If we’re not temperate, we won’t get our rest and be grumpy. We won’t be content or glorify God.
Acts 5:1-10…Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price…and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?…hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias…fell down, and gave up the ghost…his wife…came in Peter said…How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?…Then fell she…yielded up the ghost…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)