DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - HOW TO BE CONTENT IN EVERY SITUATION. The Conclusion.
When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment. 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.
Philip Parham tells the story of a rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you out there fishing?" he asked. "Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch more fish than you need?' the rich man asked. "What would I do with them?" "You could earn more money," came the impatient reply, "and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."
The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?" "You could sit down and enjoy life," said the industrialist. "What do you think I'm doing now?" the fisherman replied as he looked placidly out to sea. - Our Daily Bread.
In Part 2, we realised that contentment is something that is earned, also that it is flexible. We also understood that contentment is something we learn, and that it does not come naturally. Today we conclude with the final principle…
CONTENTMENT COMES THROUGH DEPENDABILITY
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Phil 4:13. In whom can we depend? We live in an age where consumer goods, (once called “durable goods”) are DESIGNED to fail in a matter of years so you will have to replace them, once dependable brand names have now become known for poor quality. So how can we find contentment through dependence? We must realize two things; 1. That we are the instruments of God. 2. Through Christ we are made sufficient.
We Are The Instruments Of God.
I hardly qualify to become the “prophet of positive thinking”, nor do I subscribe to the I’m Ok, your OK theory of Christianity, however, I do feel at times we sell ourselves short. We are the creation of the most High God, and He has chosen us to do an important job. We are to spread the gospel to every nation of the world.
I believe Paul was thinking of this responsibility when he wrote, "I can do ALL things...." As servants of Christ, we need to know the value of one person, who will lend himself or herself to dedication to God. He is looking for people like Paul (and like you and I), who will be willing to submit themselves to difficult situations, and uncomfortable circumstances, in order to use them to make an impact.
We can make a difference through Christ, we are in effect, God’s tools to get the job done, and as a tool, we are directed by the master’s hand. A tool doesn’t do the work itself, but is always guided by someone else.
"Since God has put His work into your weak hands, look not for long ease here: You must feel the full weight of your calling: a weak man with a strong God." - Lady Culross to John Livingston of the Covenanters.
We Are Sufficient Through Christ!
The tasks laid before us are daunting to say the least, but if we attempt to go it alone, we are doomed to certain failure. The key part in verse 13 is the part that says "THROUGH HIM who gives me strength." THROUGH HIM… THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!
When Jesus is involved in the equation, there is nothing, which we cannot accomplish. He will equip us, and satisfy our needs, He will provide us with the words to say, the actions to do in order to share his gospel. Through Christ, we can reach a state of absolute contentment, and contentment is a worthy goal for the Christian. It is not just a state we can reach with little effort, we must learn contentment, we must be flexible in order to achieve it, and we MUST depend on God for our contentment.
When you have nothing left but God, then you become aware that God is enough. - Maude Royden.
Salvation is the first step on that path, without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in our lives, we can never achieve true contentment. You have that opportunity today, to begin this journey.
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.