I used to believe that to be content and satisfied in, with and by Jesus meant that I wanted nothing else. And that the converse was true, that if there was something I wanted, then it must be evidence that I wasn’t content in Christ.

The last few years of change have helped me learn I was wrong.

Being content in Christ for me has come to mean that I have given Him my total trust, that He has my absolute confidence for every area of my life. It sounds silly that this would be a place that you would have to get to.

After all, who wouldn’t trust Jesus with everything, right?

The truth is, I didn’t. I didn’t trust Him for my hopes and dreams for marriage. Or for meaningful relationships with friends and family. Or for a life that was limited in anxiety and worry.

Letting go of the concern over these and so many other things always seemed to me to mean that I didn’t care anymore. That my hopes and dreams didn’t matter. That they weren’t important to me.

What I learned is that they do matter. They matter a lot. To me. And because they matter to me, they matter to Him. To the Lord. To the God of the Universe. To His Son. To Jesus. They matter. A lot. To them.

I had to learn to trust and believe that those things were true. That His love for me was real. Not just words on a page or a voice from a pulpit but really real. And tangible. And available to me if I would only believe.

What we believe drives how we behave.

If I believe that the God of the Universe is deeply and intimately concerned with the things that matter to me, the things that grieve my heart, the issues that cause me worry and fear, the dreams I keep tucked away in the quite of my soul and tell no one about, then I can begin to live contently.

I can can find the still waters He promises. Because He loves me and He cares. He really does.

My life will reflect that. I will not strive quite so much and have moments when I don’t strive at all. I will have a place to take my thoughts captive.

I’ll take capture my thoughts with the truth. The truth that His love for me is real. That He sees me. That what concerns me concerns Him. That I matter to Him. That the Lord is good.

And then I can want. I can want with confidence. Desire with abandon. Dream with imagination.

I can walk with confidence because I trust in the One who I believe loves me and every one one of the desires of my heart.

It’s here — when belief and dreams come together — that contentment comes to life in the heart. Because a heart that believes God, really believes, lives in peace. Lives in trust. Lives boldly. Walks uprightly. Without fear.

I can’t confess that all of this is completely worked out for me. I still worry about things. My future. My health. Finances. Lots of things, big and small. But I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. So I have hope that as I live this life here, I will grow in confidence and trust as I hand Him more pieces of my heart.

If today, your heart is troubled, your heart is fearful, your heart is bowed down because of worry over your hopes and dreams, know that He loves you. Make a step, however small, to believe Him in a way you never have before. He sees you. He knows you. What matters to you matters to Him. You believe Him, I know. Can you believe Him just a little more?