“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern 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
I have to admit I’m not sure I have learned Paul’s secret of being content in every situation. There are many times that I tend to feel discontented. This is not just due to our current circumstances either. I think that our affluence can cause discontentment in many cases.
So, before our world changed a few weeks ago, even in that world of plenty and the ability to do what we wanted to do within reason, perhaps there were many times you were discontent with the circumstances of life or maybe God’s Providence in your life. Maybe we haven’t thanked God for the many things we tend to take for granted.
Fast forward to today. Now that most of us have been several weeks being cut off in many ways from the outside world, have we learned any better the secret of contentment? Have we learned how to face plenty or hunger, abundance or need? Most of us have not gone hungry in these few weeks. Even those items that we may run low on like toilet paper are around, and we did live before that wonderful invention as well.
What is God teaching you today about contentment? Are you patient in the midst of these waiting days? We can be content and yet long for a change or a return to normal. I don’t think that is sinning to long for and pray for change. I hope and pray that God teaches us all how to better be content with those things that we cannot change and to work at the things that we can change. Many things in our lives we still are able to do to the glory of God. I can still strive to get a good night’s sleep and get exercise. I can still read and study God’s Word. I can still connect with the Church even though it is not the connection that I would like.
I wish I could say that I have learned Paul’s secret to contentment but I’m not there yet. I’m on the way and God is today giving me experiences that can teach me better how to be content in the good as well as in the bad times.
Spend some time today counting your many blessings rather than dwelling on all that you are missing out on. I guarantee that will help you with your contentment.
“Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:1-2
(I encourage you to read the rest of Psalm 103)