Philippians 4:12 “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.”
Paul must have been a much better person than I am. After all, my circumstances are glorious compared to his! He was sitting under lock and key, totally dependent on the kindness and compassion of other people to care for his most basic needs. He knew what it was to be hungry. Lonely. Rejected. Despised. And yet, he was content.
I can picture him sitting near a window, feeling the breeze, yet unable to fully enjoy it. Smelling the scent of freshly baked bread, but being unable to taste it. Hearing the laughter of children and the conversations of adults, yet not being able to do the one thing he longed to do more than anything: tell them of God’s love for them. Still, he was content. How can this be?
The reason Paul was able to pen such lofty words is because he had come to understand that contentment is a choice. It can never be based on one’s circumstances, for circumstances will shift under our feet like an earthquake. It cannot be dependent on something more than we already possess, for we will always want something more and something more and something more.
Contentment means being satisfied with things just as they are. It means finding joy from within, not from without. And the only way we will ever find joy within is if God puts it there. Well, guess what? God has put the wellspring of joy, of life within each of His children. We just have to look for it. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” When we seek God, we find Him. And where God is, there is joy and peace and love – all the things that bring contentment.
I am the worst about wanting the “something more.” I have a perfectly wonderful home. But I want my kitchen remodeled. Actually, I want to sell this house and build a home in the country. But if I let those things determine my happiness, I will never be happy, for once I get those things, there will just be something else. I want to be like Paul. Will you join me? Together, we can seek God. When we find Him, and we most certainly will find Him, we will find Paul’s wonderful secret – the peace and joy that comes from a right relationship with God.
Dear Father, Please forgive me for seeking happiness and joy and contentment outside of You. Please be patient with me, and keep reminding me that true peace only comes from You. I love You.
I love your reminder that contentment comes from finding the joy within, not without. That’s the tidbit I needed to be reminded of as I arm myself for the holiday season and am bombarded with constant advertising of things I “need.”
Thank you, dear one, for the reminder of the true source of contentment.
Lifting every circumstance up to him, every need, every heartache, every void and letting Him fill up our lives.