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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peace and Contentment

“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, NIV).

Without God in our life, we can never know true contentment and peace. Nothing in this hectic world 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. Paul wrote that he had learned to be content in every circumstance. Whether that circumstance was joyful and inspiring or hard and discouraging, Paul knew contentment and peace.

Paul's contentment came from a strong and deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. But, no matter what he faced, he was content. His eyes were not on what He was around him, but upon His Savior. God gave him peace, and a purpose to fulfill. Fulfilling His purpose only strengthened Paul's faith in God's provision. His incarceration could not stop him from trusting 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 human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When we know God as intimately as Paul, we can give Him all that rages in our life, and take refuge in Him. Paul's life shows us that is it absolutely possible to have peace and contentment when we trust God. The secret is to know God intimately and completely. This takes commitment, prayer, and a desire for more of the Lord and less of what the world offers.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you,” Jesus said. “I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27, NIV). I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). His peace is not dependent upon what the world or circumstances offer. We may have trouble in this life, but we do not need to fear. He has over overcome whatever we face. When we seek Him with all of our being, we will find Him and discover His peace. We realize that nothing is impossible for Him. We can boldly face whatever is to come with His peace and His purpose. Just as Paul, we can rise and do whatever God calls us to do. All things are possible through Jesus Christ who gives us the strength to accomplish it.

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That is Grace

  —Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify [set apart] you completely; and may your whole  spirit, soul, and body  be preserved blameless ...