“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concerns for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:10-13
Paul states here that he has learned to be content. I don’t know about you but in spite of the many, many, blessings that God provides, I find myself too many times discontent with the many circumstances of life. I grumble and complain when I should be giving praise to God for the good and the bad.
At the start of a new year I need to be reminded of what Scripture tells me about contentment. There will be times of plenty and times of hunger in our lives. There will be times of abundance and times of need. This is not just in reference to our physical goods, the things we own, but there are times when we will struggle with our health and days when we feel good. There will be times we are discouraged and depressed and times when we are joyous and hopeful. Every day is not the same. There are ups and downs.
I need to be reminded of what is true and what is constant. As we study God’s Word and feast upon it, daily in our homes, alone or with a family and together as the body of Christ as we worship together, we get clarity and we learn what endures and what stands the test of time. Truth. Hope. Contentment.
“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:15-21