“Not that I speak from any (personal need), for I have learned to be content (and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy) regardless of my circumstances”
If we were honest, I think we would admit that contentment is something that we all struggle with at times. It doesn’t help that we live in a “microwave” society and that it is easy to fall out of love with something like the latest Iphone because the next version hits the market before you can get any miles on the one you just purchased!
On a serious note, this year has taught me the importance of being content where I am and with what I have. At the same time, I have learned that being content requires us to be present and intentional where we are so that we can prepare for what will come next.
When I think of the word Contentment, Philippians 4 is the first scripture that comes to mind. This is Paul’s letter to the Philippian church and if you aren’t well acquainted with Paul’s story, he literally suffered for the sake of Christ. He became well acquainted with struggle so that he could carry out the Gospel but isn’t it interesting that he can speak to the contentment that he found in the midst of his circumstances:
“ I know how to get along and live humbly (in difficult times), and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret (of facing life) whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need
Philippians 4:12 (amplified)
Paul’s secret can be found in a scripture that we are all familiar with but this scripture has to be read and internalized accurately so that we can understand what it meant for Paul then and what it means for us now.
“ I can do all things (which He has called me to do) through Him who strengthens and empowers me (to fulfill His purpose-I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace)
Philippians 4:13 (amplified)
Our contentment is found in Christ and he gives us the strength to do what HE calls us to do. So we can’t do everything. When we try to do everything, we set a trap for ourselves to fall into discontent.
Now, let’s be clear, contentment is not waving a white flag and falling into complacency. It’s an acknowledgement that where you are is where you are supposed to be and if you are operating in the will of God where you are, he will give you the strength to do what you need to do there so that you can acquire the wisdom needed to for the next assignment.
So let’s all take some time to reflect this week as we enter into the month of December on those areas that have caused us to fall into the trap of discontentment. We need to surrender those areas to Christ and take on the strength that he has already given to us to be great where we are!