Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 17, 2014
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 [Christ] who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Discontentment can be dangerous. It can drive us to hasty decisions or unwise actions we later regret. A desire to be someone we’re not, a wish to be somewhere we don’t need to be or a motivation to have something not ours–can easily derail our life. Why let our discontentment obsess over the thrill of the chase, when contentment patiently waits on the joy of all Jesus has for us. Contentment has a way of cleansing our motives. It moves us closer to Christ’s heart.
Contentment is the ability to endure hardships or handle prosperity. If we are never satisfied, always in want of a little bit more, we are set up for disappointment. More relationships, more stuff or more opportunities only complicate and confuse our life, if they become the object of our affections. Or, we may struggle under the weight of adversity. It can crush our contentment unless we see God at work where we are unable to work. Contentment grows our trust in Jesus.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12).
Paul understood the fruit of contentment. He was a work in progress, but by God’s grace he had progressed. He used hard times to better understand the heart of God. While in jail, he started the first jail ministry and he penned profound words of truth. Contentment was the canvas of his life on which the Lord painted His beautiful masterpiece of grace. From the beginning of His walk with Jesus he submitted to whatever He wanted. Christ working through him was his big secret!
Therefore, we stay enrolled in the school of contentment for it is a lifelong educational process. Like wisdom and humility, we are always learning and growing in the discipline of contentment. The secret is surrender to Jesus Christ and by faith allowing Him to live His life through us. His strength sustains us. His Spirit empowers us. His wisdom enlightens us. His humility humbles us. His love embraces us. The secret of contentment is resting in Jesus. It’s trusting Him to handle the rest we can’t control. Prayerfully we wait on God’s best. Contentment in Him is great gain!
“Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender to You and Your expectations for my life. I trust in Christ to strengthen my soul.
Post/Tweet today: We are a work in progress, but by God’s grace we progress. #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Tim Keller audio on Contentment- http://bit.ly/W5Xb2a
Our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth, coming October! Pre-order your copy today. Boyd’s one minute book video- http://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt
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