The Secret To Contentment
By Fin Sheridan
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been dipping into the Lord’s Prayer. We started with the audacious encouragement to call God our Father. Then we looked at what it means to ask for God’s will to be done.
Today, we are going to to move onto the next part: “Give us today our daily bread”. Even those on a no-bread diet will be able to relate to this prayer! Obviously this prayer isn’t just literal – at the time of Jesus, just like now, bread was a daily staple but also represents basic provision. When we pray “give us daily bread”, what we’re asking for is daily provision; we’re asking God to take care of our physical needs.
Jesus teaches about the Lord’s Prayer in his Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5,6 and 7. After detailing it in Matthew 6, he then comes back to something similar in Matthew 7. He says, in verse 9-12:
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
“Coming to God with childlike gratitude is actually the path to experiencing the fullest blessing he can give us: contentment.“
He revisits this because it is sometimes hard to truly believe. ‘Bread’ is a simple request but how often do we struggle to even believe God for the simple, everyday gifts? There’s another side to this prayer though. When we ask God for daily bread, we’re actually agreeing to be content when he gives it to us. We’re not demanding big, flashy and expensive; we’re asking that he provide our needs and, in doing so, we’re also agreeing to be glad when he provides them.
Coming to God with childlike gratitude is actually the path to experiencing the fullest blessing he can give us: contentment. Ecclesiastes 5:19 puts it like this: “Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God.” How much of our anxiety, worry and dissatisfaction comes with not accepting the daily gift of bread that God has already given to us? Besides, there’s nothing better than a warm fresh loaf.