march 23rd - Contentment
I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:11b-13 (NKJV)
I was sitting on the beach, my feet buried in the sand watching the sunrise. I was aware of the ocean smells, the sounds of the waves and seagulls, the gentle breeze...I drank it all in and thanked God for giving me life. In that moment I realized that the richest man on earth, in terms of material wealth, could not possibly enjoy that moment any more than I did. I was content and I was basking in the moment.
However; I don't live on the beach and not every morning brings a beautiful sunrise. There are other moments in life that present a greater challenge: When you find out that a
close friend passed away; when you were just informed that you were laid off from your job; when the doctor's report came back with some bad news; when you are feeling stressed, because the I.R.S. just dialed your number. Can contentment be found in the midst of these real life situations?
The Apostle Paul made an amazing claim, he said, "Yes, I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." I think that Paul and Silas' singing gig in prison is confirmation of Paul's claim of contentment. He was beaten, in chains, in the darkness of the dungeon awaiting judgment...and Paul begins to sing? What??? What was Paul's secret? It isn't a secret, Paul stated, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The Bible tells us that, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." What this means is that there is no external force in the world that can match the internal force that is living in you. Knowing that God is with me gives me peace and makes contentment my normal life experience.
Author’s Note: I believe that every day lived for God is a good day. Please know that I’m just everyone else—some days seem to be working for my good more than other days. In spite of the challenges that life throws my way, I want the quality of life that I live to be determined by my relationship with God and not the circumstances of life. RJD