Godliness with contentment is great gain.
GAIN: to obtain, to receive, to win, to profit.
So, think with me on this. Godliness with contentment is great to obtain, is great to receive, it is a great win...it is profitable.
But what if you have what you don't want? What if you want what you don't have? Where is the gain? The gain is in the Godliness with contentment.
For most of my Christian life I had a hard time identifying with Christ, even being grateful for Him. Yes, I was grateful for my salvation. I believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, rose from the dead and because of His perfection I could go to heaven. But I was resentful about Jesus. I didn't like how perfect He was.
In Sunday school I heard "Jesus is our example. He came to earth and lived a perfect life showing us how we should live." I sat 'crisscross-applesauce' and watched my teacher point to the flannel-graph picture of a man feeding the five thousand. In my heart I knew what she said was impossible. I could NEVER be like Jesus. Around every corner was opportunity to sin and if I didn't willingly choose sin I fell into it without thinking.
Then one day, the Lord helped me to understand the perfection of Jesus. It wasn't what I thought! I didn't understand Jesus because I didn't understand sin.
Sin is not "doing bad things." Sin is doing your own will apart from God. Is eating fruit wrong? No. Adam and Eve ate fruit all the time. They were, however, NOT to eat the fruit from one tree. Why not? Because God said so.
They reasoned with themselves and the devil, "Ah! But it looks good, and besides it will make me wise. I will do what I want and not what God says." They chose their own will over God's will...that is sin.
There are so many "good" people in the world. They love people, they give generously, they don't drink or smoke or sleep around. In their hearts they believe that is enough, it is acceptable to God. They may even go a step further and be an active member in a church, praying, singing, and performing miracles.
Jesus never chose His own will, He came only to do the will of His Father. This humility, this submission is what made Him acceptable to God. This was perfection. He humbled himself even to death on the cross, forsaken of God.
That is His example. Following His example in doing God's will might look like this:
"Father, I want that...I don't want this!"
~ I know what you need, my child. Wait on me.
"Father, I am afraid. This is too hard and painful!"
~ Do not be afraid, I will never leave you. Give it to me, let me take care of it. I am with you always, even in this.
"Father, I don't know where to go or what to do!"
~ My Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. I have shown you to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Me.
Unfortunately, some of us go our own way convincing ourselves we are doing God's will. It might look like this:
"I want that...not this! I'll just do what I can to get it. After all, God wants me to be happy!"
"I am afraid. This is too hard and painful! I will give up and do something else, something easier, something that makes more sense. If God was in this, it wouldn't hurt, right?"
"I don't know where to go or what to do. I would benefit the most by...All my friends say...I have a right to..."
Do I really want to obtain? to receive? to profit? Do I really want great gain?
Godliness with contentment is great gain. Perhaps we don't have contentment because we don't know what godliness is? We think godliness is doing right. It is doing right, only not our right, rather God's right.
Perhaps we're not godly because we don't know God. Why would we do the will of someone else, especially one we don't know or trust?
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.