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Monday, March 25, 2019

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, 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 deeply 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 mission 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.

Many times we cannot find contentment and peace in our circumstances. Struggling doesn't help. Being upset with God doesn't help. But there is a peace that passes our human understanding. When we know God as intimately as Paul, we can give Him all that rages, and take refuge in Him. Paul's life shows us that is it absolutely possible to have peace and contentment when we trust God. Paul knew who He was in Jesus, and because of that, He had an abiding relationship with Him.
“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). 
Jesus’ peace is not dependent upon what the world or circumstances offer. We may have trouble, but we do not need to fear. He has overcome whatever we face. When we seek to understand the gift of His righteousness for our sin and how He sees us through the eyes of grace, we begin to see everything differently. His grace is truth, and because of it, we have peace with God. When we realize that nothing is impossible because of His grace, we can boldly face whatever is to come with His peace and purpose. We can understand that nothing is impossible for Jesus. Just as Paul, we can rise to our calling—not in our own strength, but in His.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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