In today’s world it can sometimes be very difficult to distinguish between need and desire. We live in an age of excess. Selfishness, greed, entitlement, unrealistic expectations, etc. lead to a warped sense of sufficiency.
As a Christian, have you reached the point of being content regardless of what you have (or don’t have)? Paul did!
- Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
The Eternal Promise
One of the most well known sections of scripture begins with an incredible promise; if God is truly your master, you will never be without something you need!
- Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
But as humans, our actual and perceived needs are many. There are countless opportunities for our desires to be perceived as needs (or rights). And when these are not satisfied according to our expectations, we become anything but content.
- Physical (what we have)
- Food, clothing, shelter, automobiles, toys, jewelry, money, trophies, land …
- Emotional (what we feel)
- Love, acceptance, happiness, fear, anger, sadness, resentment, jealousy …
- Intellectual (what we think)
- Education, entertainment, mental stimulation, validation, opinions, judging …
- Experiential (what we personally go through)
- Illness, struggles, crime, fights, loss, disappointment, rejection, betrayal …
- Observational (what we see in the world around us)
- Crime, injustice, others getting ahead, world hunger, war, terrorism, disease …
The Danger of Extremes
Yet, as much as we want to satisfy our needs and desires, often when we gain or lose them to the extreme, our wretchedness is plainly exposed.
- Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; 9 Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
Christ made it clear, He is the source of all we need. And without Him we can’t do anything that will bring glory and honor to God.
- John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
What do you need? What you need is Jesus. Find Him in the Holy Bible!
Heavenly Father, Your Word and Your Spirit guide us to the truth about our needs. Above and before all else is our need for salvation in Jesus Christ. I pray Father, that floating in the ocean of discontentment will lead many to Your Truth; the truth that Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth, lived a sinless life, died on a Roman cross, and was raised from the dead on the third day to make a way for lost sinners to be reconciled to You. Christ is the only way to eternal life in heaven. Please use Your Word to save the lost. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.