By: Waylon Bailey
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
There’s a secret to being contented and satisfied about your circumstances in life. Paul shares what he learned with us.
What did he learn about contentment?
First, contentment is hard to come by. Almost everything in life makes living in contentment difficult. Jesus talked about the things that take us away from God. Jesus described how “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things . . . choke the word” and make it unfruitful (Mark 4:19).
Isn’t that what happens to us? The desire for things, other people, and just plain living becomes a hindrance to the peace of God that passes all understanding.
Second, Paul learned that the secret is Christ. He knew he could stand up to the pressures in life through Christ. When we seek Christ and Christ alone, we experience only what Christ can give–the peace of God that is beyond human comprehension.
Finally, Paul learned he could work with God to grow in grace and obedience.
How do we grow in contentment?
1. Set an appointment each day with God. Spend time with Him. Make it the most important appointment of the day. If you wouldn’t break an appointment with your governor, why would you break one with God?
2. Practice contentment. Give your struggles to God. The more you practice anything the better you become at it.
The best teams don’t simply practice until they can do it; they practice until they can’t fail to do it. Why not practice your faith in the same way? As we pray, learn Scripture, and practice the Christian graces we become better at all we do.
3. Prepare for the difficulties of life. As you prepare in advance knowing that contentment is difficult, you get ready for the eventualities of life. Paul prepared for the hurts of prison long before he was arrested.
4. Meditate on Scripture and pray God’s promises unto Him. Tell God you trust that in His strength, you can face the sorrows of life. “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
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