DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - HOW TO BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION. Part 2.
Be content with what you have, never with what you are. – Source Unknown.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:10-13.
A man became envious of his friends because they had larger and more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm, planning to sell it and to purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right. He promptly called the realtor and said, "A house described in today's paper is exactly what I'm looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!" The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, "But sir, that's your house you’re describing." - Source Unknown.
In Part 1, we realised that contentment in every situation is a very difficult state to achieve; nevertheless, according to God’s word it can be done! We had to understand that, contentment is something we learn, and that it does not come naturally. Today we see that…
CONTENTMENT IS SOMETHING THAT IS EARNED
Paul had found contentment through the experiences of his life, he had discovered that there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. There was a purpose behind each of his experiences (good or bad), and he had learned contentment through these experiences. Paul was beaten, with whips and rods, was stoned one time, shipwrecked three, hungry, thirsty, weary, in danger from thieves, without sufficient clothing, and besought with danger at every corner. He had troubles at times greater than our own, but still as relevant to us in 2005.
Contentment Comes Through Flexibility
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. - Phil 4:12. We have to learn how to adjust to our circumstances.
The Bible is full of illustrations to prove this point. Joseph is perfect example of this kind of adjustments. Joseph, as you may recall, was... the last child in a family of boys that became rather jealous of him. The story goes that Joseph was captured and sold into slavery by his brothers. From here he went into the house of Potiphar, where he was falsely accused of unfaithfulness with the wife of Potiphar and thrown into prison. While in prison, he gains favour with the warden and receives the responsibility of running the prison. In each stage of Joseph’s life, he adjusted. Wherever he was, with his family, in a fine mansion, or in a dingy prison cell, he made the very best of his circumstances.
In our lives, we will face tough times, just as Paul and Joseph did. There will be times when things are going so well that sadness seems like a dim memory, and then there will be those times when we long for God to intervene. We must be content in each of these times, and adjust to our circumstances.
Warren Weirsbe, Theologian and Scholar, tells this story: "The trouble with him is that he is a thermometer and not a thermostat!" This statement by one of the deacons puzzled the pastor. They were discussing possible deacons when one gentleman’s name came up, prompting this strange statement. The deacon explained, "Pastor, it’s like this, a thermometer doesn’t change anything around it -- it just registers the temperature. It’s always going up, or down. But a thermostat regulates the surroundings and changes them when they need to be changed. That man is a thermometer -- he lacks the power to change things. Instead, they change him." - Source unknown.
We are called to adjust, not to change, we must be bigger than our problems. Paul was a thermostat, he did not let his circumstances drive him up and down spiritually, because he adjusted to his circumstances and kept right on serving God faithfully as ever, and instead of letting his circumstances deprive him of opportunities, he used his circumstances to his advantage, he was not a victim of his circumstances but was victorious over them.
Leaning on his fence one day, a devout Quaker was watching a new neighbor move in next door. After all kinds of modern appliances, electronic gadgets, plush furniture, and costly wall hangings had been carried in, the onlooker called over, "If you find you're lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I'll show you how to live without it." - Source Unknown.
In order to find contentment, we must come to the point where we realise that, we are where God wants us to be, doing his will, and He has already proven over and over his love for us, so we can be assured that he only has our best interest in mind, when he sends us into circumstances that appear too big for us.
Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to learn how to be content in every situation, help me to put these principles of your word into practice, that I might be a better child for you, and bring glory to your name, in Jesus wonderful name I pray. Amen.