A Special Secret
I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation …
Philippians 4: 12
Paul didn’t have a particularly easy life. The trajectory of his life may not have gone the way he planned. Maybe he thought following Christ would make his life easier. I mean, don’t we think that at times? Paul was in jail as he wrote this letter, facing probable death if he wasn’t released. He could have twiddled his thumbs, he could have slept the day away, complained, grumbled, started riots or felt sorry for himself or gotten angry at God and indignant about the things he was going through because after all, he was doing this stuff for Christ.
But he didn’t. He wrote letters to the people he wasn’t able to hang out with, people that for all he knew, he would never see again. He had no way of knowing that those letters would be read today, cherished as a very large part of the New Testament.
We all go through times where our life isn’t what we thought it would be. Oh, we may never be imprisoned for our faith, but let’s be honest, somewhere between Once Upon A Time and they lived happily ever after, things can go horrible awry.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves stuck in place that wasn’t our choice, didn’t fit the trajectory we had for a life? We have choices of what to do while waiting for the way out.
Paul tells us he discovered a secret. A secret that got him through shipwrecks, beatings, and imprisonments. A secret he wasn’t born knowing; this secret had to be learned in the ups and downs of life, but one that sustained him through the good and bad. He learned the secret of contentment. Contentment may be defined as being stable on the inside in spite of the turmoil taking place on the outside. Being content requires that I not wait for my answers to prayers to come before I live my life as fully as I can. Sounds too good to be true, don’t you think?
It behooves us then to know how to attain to this secret of contentment and fortunately for us, he shares how with us: “for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” Philippians 4: 13.
The best part about this is I don’t have to do this myself; I don’t have to conjure up contentment. I don’t have to fake it ‘til I make it. I just turn my eyes to Jesus, the One who lives in me, the One who gives me strength and power to carry on contentedly, knowing that the ultimate outcome of this present situation is in His hands, in His timing and will ultimately be for my good and His glory.
Father forgive me for the numerous times I have chosen pouting over contentment. I want to learn the secret of contentment, please help me. When the trajectory of my life deviates from my plan and I am starting down the path of complaining or feeling sorry for myself would You please nudge me back and remind me that contentment is a choice I make and I can choose contentment because of Christ who gives me strength. Thank You. In Jesus’s name, amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.