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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Contentment in all Things

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).

We can't know true contentment and peace without God in our lives. Nothing on this earth can offer such peace.... no possession, no person, no joyful anticipation. Only God promises spiritual contentment and peace, and that is something the world can never give. 

The Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in every circumstance. This kind of peaceful contentment does not depend upon our circumstances. It is an inward contentment that is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. He longed to be out of jail. But, no matter what he faced, he was content. 

Nothing made Paul content. His contentment came from his deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God gave him peace, and with that peace a purpose to fulfill. His incarceration could not stop him from trusting in God to meet all his needs. His chains could not keep him from writing of God's great goodness. He had learned the secret of being content in every circumstance.

Often we discover that many things are just impossible for us. We cannot find contentment and peace in our circumstances. Struggling doesn't help. Railing at God doesn't help. In fact, it makes it worse. But there is a peace that passes our understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When we know God as intimately as Paul, we can give Him all that rages, and take refuge in Him. Paul shows us that is it absolutely possible to have peace and contentment when we trust God. 

When we discover this inner peace and contentment, nothing can come against us. We discover that nothing is impossible for him. We can do whatever God calls us to do. And we can do everything through Jesus who gives us to strength to accomplish it.

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