Living in Contentment
By Clayton Adams What is the secret to live content? The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:1112 “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
Unlike Paul, I have not “learned the secret” but I am smack-dap in the middle of the process of learning to be content and I hope I learn it quickly! (I need patience too.) I have learned to be thankful and grateful for what I have and for what I do not have. Traveling to countries in Central and South America and Europe, I have realized that I have far more conveniences and comforts for this physical life than I need. I have learned that even though my car has 240,000 plus miles on it and it needs a few things replaced and repaired, I am grateful I do not have a car payment!
Visiting people in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities, I have learned to be thankful I do not reside in one of these facilities. I am grateful for having relatively very good health – still short, fat and good looking – more or less.
Being content does not mean one is to accept failure, disaster or the statusquo when it is unjust or harmful. Rather being content means that one is satisfied to the point of not worrying, disturbed or unsettled. A discontented person reveals his discontent through words and actions.
Moses was not content to be part of Pharaoh's royal family when he discovered he was actually a Hebrew. Naomi was not content to see her daughter-in-law Ruth, lose out on having a happy life and guided her through a new culture. Neither was Jesus content to allow Peter to trudge through his life with the burden of failing when the rooster crowed.
Contentment comes most often through very difficult life lessons. Paul learned this when in the morning he preached in the city of Philippi and by the end of day was thrown into jail. Around midnight he and Silas began singing praises to God and the other prisoners took notice. That's contentment! (Acts 16:1425) Life lessons are painful but through these lessons we can learn to be content, knowing that God rules over everyone and everything. We are in His hands and we should take great comfort in this fact. Are you learning to be content?
Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e- mail him at cpalaa@ yahoo. com, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.
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