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THE RICHES OF CONTENTMENT

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-12


"Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for 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."


What is it to be content?

Chuck Swindoll said, " The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day."

I have read the Bible many times through over the years and I have never found a place where scripture has not turned to come back to the same conclusion by all witnesses - that we are dependent on God, and, that true contentment depends on our hearts and minds in correlation to our personal relationship and dependence on the Lord. Many opportunities for false contentment will rise up in front of us but they are all temporary, shaky and unstable.

There's the saying, "You can't take it with you."

That's true. You can't take anything with you.

But you can make a decision on what you will have waiting for you.




1 Timothy 6:6-12

"Godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."


In reflection of 1 Timothy 6, Prof. Robert Yarbrough says this: "Wherever people think that the gospel message is primarily about better quality of life, personal well-being, or gain as measured in a materialist human consumer society, they run afoul of Paul’s scriptures here."


There is literally a fight of faith and a war of the flesh. There are futile grasps at worldly contentment that we all make and then there are the moments of realization that we will never find contentment if we keep looking for it in things that moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

It can be hard when we are faced with the aches and pains of this world, but we face nothing that Jesus Himself did not face. The followers of Christ also faced tribulations and trials - many that we will never be able to understand or comprehend. Yet, through it all, even in chains, Paul was able to write about his dependence, satisfaction, contentment and reliance on the Lord, and the other Disciples did not back down either, even to death.

Yes, our afflictions can be painful. And our circumstances can take us down dark roads. But, with the Lord at the center of our hearts, we will always have a light to get us through.

I'm not speaking from a place of total peace but from a place of experience. I'm not speaking from the top of the mountain, looking down - but from the trail going up, where it's cold and the wind is blasting, and the enemy's voice echoes in each and every crevice.


We are each on our own journeys with our own separate battles and wins and losses and joys and griefs, but we can all relate to the search of finding those places of reflection during our journey that continuously bring us back to our foundation. And I believe that there, in the 'grounding moments', contentment can be found with whatever situation we find ourselves in.



"What a beautiful thing it is to achieve contentment and peace before the storm, when you innocently set off from the shore ~ during the storm when the rain pounds down and the winds yank you side to side ~ and after the storm, when the sea is clear and the breeze begins to gently blow once again."


Please pray with me:

"Lord, I know that I struggle with the temporary things that this world has to offer. I struggle to grasp contentment when I face health challenges, losses and other obstacles. My questions sometimes outweigh my praise. Thank You, Lord, for seeing all things and for offering Your Word to constantly teach me and Your promises to give me hope. Thank You for the many ways You've provided for me. Thank You for waking me each day that You have. Thank You and, Lord, I desire to be content as long as Your will is being done. Speak to me and work through me. I long to praise You and I know that being content in all types of weather in life is one way to bring glory to Your Name. I want to do that. I love You, Lord. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen."


Love,

Sarah Jane

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