Friday, April 1, 2016

The Secret of Contentment


 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
~Philippians 4:11


I often ponder these verses and must confess that when it comes to my family, I struggle greatly with contentment. I try to get to the root of the problem in my heart and am often discouraged. When I feel like I am good with things just the way they are, another thing pops up that crushes my heart yet again. Then I camp there in the land of discontent.

The grief of not having "normal" in my life hits me hard then that grief turns to anger. Anger shows me that my needs and wants are not being met and it is at this time that I fail. I chose to stew over the things that I cannot change. I lose sight of what God may be doing and in turn lose contentment with my life. When my needs and wants are being taken away, God is up to something better, yet it is easy to lose sight of this truth.

Paul goes on, in the above passage, to state that he has learned to live in every situation, good or bad, because he has learned a secret. Immediately I want to know what that secret is! I need this! I desire contentment. What is that secret?

It is simple really, the answer to the secret is, "I can do everything, through Christ, who gives me strength." Really? That is it? Then why is life so hard for me?

The simple answer is that I chose to live in unbelief of this promise. I don't set out to do it intentionally. My heart just veers in that direction of discontent when I am confronted, yet again, with grief of my situation. I am not sure why "normal" is so important to me? I know I want to bring honor and glory to God above all else. He gave me this family with its various levels of special needs. How could it not bring Him glory? Even if I cannot see it, I have to trust Him to bring it about. He is a good Father who only gives good gifts to His children. My heart desperately needs to trust this.

When I believe that God will use all of His good gifts to bring about His glory, and trust Christ to strengthen me for that task, I will be able to rest in contentment. So, how do I get there?

First, I must cry out to God in my desperation and as I look to Him, little by little, He is changing me more into His image. This is a work of grace by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. As I run to Him, He changes me. Period. He does this work. That is glorious to me! It is not instantaneous but a slow changing.

Next, I "confess this sin to others so I will be healed." God works healing in our life through confession. So this entire devotional is my confession of a wicked heart that needs redemption! Not only will it begin healing in me but maybe it connects with you as well.

Last, I walk confidently that I can truly do all things in Christ who strengthens me. Notice it is not my strength but in HIS strength. He is working it in me. And each time I am struggling with contentment, He will help me overcome it by His strength. He is using every bit of it to conform me into Christ-likeness.

Where do you struggle with discontent?

Where do you need prayer for unbelief?

How can we as a community help you in your walk?

Lord, thank you for giving us community that we can walk alongside. Thank you that in our weakness, you are strong. Help us to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel in whatever situation you have us in. For your glory alone. Amen.

~Angela





2 comments:

  1. My prayer is to trust that God will provide my family's needs since I had to quit my job to care for my daughter and husband. I know that He will, but I still get anxious at times.

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    1. Praying alongside you Denie! May God honor your choice to take care of them and may your mind stay fixed on HIM! Thanks for sharing!

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