The Apostle Paul states this clearly:
“…For I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. 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 4:11-13 TEV).
Paul indicates that to be satisfied with what we have is an attitude we learn. For example, children don’t ever seem to be content on their own. They want whatever they see. Marketing agencies understand this, so they place products that appeal to children on lower shelves, eye level with the target consumer. Children aren’t satisfied with what they have; they want what they don’t have.
For many people, this attitude doesn’t change much from childhood to adolescence. Teenagers yield to peer pressure, chasing after the latest fad in clothing because “everyone has it.” All too often, that same childish thinking continues into adulthood. Some people never outgrow a continual feeling of dissatisfaction because of the things they don’t have. And the proverbial pursuit to “keep up with the Joneses” is often as common in the Christian world as it is anywhere else in society. This dissatisfaction robs people’s joy and clouds their lives with discontentment.
Paul speaks of an attitude of contentment again in First Timothy 6:6: “[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain” (AMP). Paul describes contentment as a sense of inward sufficiency. It is to be our source of immense profit.
This same idea is found in Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (NKJV).
When we’re content and at peace with God, we can be at peace with ourselves. His peace brings confidence, no matter who we’re with or how intimidating someone may seem.
Competition drives many people to compare themselves with others to determine if they’re really “okay.” Some can’t stand it if they see someone with a bigger diamond ring or a more expensive car than they have. For people who fit in this category, success is measured by a purely natural point of view rather than by the measure God uses. It could almost be called “the plague of discontentment.”
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. We are expected to increase in our lives. Being satisfied in God doesn’t mean we are content to allow our lives to remain as they are today. The difference is that God wants His people to be continually growing on the inside and His Kingdom to be continually advancing.
Jesus is our perfect Example. Without question, He is completely satisfied. He has neither needs nor insecurities. Nevertheless, Jesus isn’t satisfied with the areas of our lives that don’t reflect His highest will for us. He therefore continues to work within us by His Spirit to help us walk more in line with His thinking, His abundance, and His values. Because He wants so much more for us, He stays intimately involved in our lives.