Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Learning To Enjoy What I Have Right Now
In review of Philippians 4:11-12 it says, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (NLT).
Today’s passage comes from Philippians 4:11-13, in it Paul explains that he was never in need, for he had learned how to be content with whatever he had. He know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. He had learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it was with a full stomach or empty, in plenty and in few or little. For he could do everything through Christ, who gave me strength.
So today, I need to consider if I am getting along happily (being content) in any circumstance I face? Personally I know my work situation has been quite taxing on me, thus I’m not always so happy about it. I can tell by how I explain my role with others I talk to. Well, this verse reminds me that Paul knew how to be content whether he had plenty or whether he was in need. The secret was drawing on Christ's power for strength. Do I have great needs, or am I discontented because I don't have what I want? Learn to rely on God's promises and Christ power to help me be content. If I'm always wanting more, ask God to remove that desire and to teach me how to be content in every circumstance. He will supply all my needs, but in a way that he knows is best for me.
Paul was content because he could see life from God's point of view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he should have. Paul had his priorities straight, and he was grateful for everything God had given him. Paul had detached himself from the nonessential so that he could concentrate on the eternal. Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place in my life. What am I drawn when I feel empty inside? How can I find true contentment? The answer lies in my perspective, priorities, and source of power.
Can I really do everything? The power I receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from my commitment to doing it. He does not grant me superhuman ability to accomplish anything I can imagine without regard to his interests. As I contend for faith, I will face troubles, pressures and trails. As they come, I can ask Christ to strengthen me.
One reason for stress is that I’m rarely content with what I have. I always want more, less stressful job, more money, more pleasure, more power. I want more of just about everything.
However, the Bible shows me another way.
The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (NLT).
It’s not that Paul didn’t have ambition. He was probably one of the most ambitious people who has ever lived. He single handedly took the Gospel all across the Roman Empire. But he had learned contentment. Ambition and contentment have nothing to do with each other. I can have both.
Contentment isn’t laziness, complacency, apathy, or fatalism.
Contentment is enjoying what I have right now rather than waiting for something else to happen so you can be happy.
It doesn’t mean I don’t want to make progress. It doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. It just means I’m happy with what I have.
Too often I’ve bought into wrongheaded myths that advertisers and society have taught me, such as:
. Having more will make me happy.
. Having more will make me more important.
. Having more will make me more secure.
None of those statements are true. They’re all lies—and they keep us from the lasting peace we long for.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:6: “It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than be busy all the time with both hands, trying to catch the wind” (GNT).
Peace of mind beats relentlessly chasing more every single time.
Learn to be content in every situation (little or a lot), but drawing strength from Christ.
What this means to me:
I need to learn to be satisfied and content no matter what my situation is. Having a lot or having a little. Under great circumstances or bad ones. There is a secret, and it is to draw my strength from Christ Jesus. He will provide me the strength.
In summary, I can learn to be content with with whatever I have or whatever my situation is. The secret is doing everything through Christ who will provide me strength. This includes my work situation. I can learn to rely on God's promises and Christ's power to help me be content. He will supply all my needs, but only in a way that he knows is best for me. Often a desire for more or better is really a longing to fill an empty place in my life. The answer will be in my perspective, priorities, and source of power. The power I receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from my commitment to doing it. As I content for faith, I will face troubles, pressures and trails. As they come, I can ask Christ to strengthen me. True contentment is enjoying what I have right now rather than waiting for something else to happen. It means that I'm happy with what I have. Peace of mind will beat the relentlessly chasing for more every single time.
This morning Father I thank you for the wonderful time I had off, getting together with family and old friends. It was quite refreshing. I pray this morning that you help me consider contentment with my work situation. Help me to organize the tasks and make a positive difference in doing what I know needs to be done. Give me your wisdom and your guidance. Help me to lead and respond to people correctly. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen!
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