Have you ever had one of those weeks where you can’t wait for it to be over? Maybe you have endured a long work week and you have encountered problems that seem to multiply every day. It could be that you are a stay at home parent and you are at your wit’s end as you have had a difficult week juggling all of the tasks that come your way. Perhaps you are retired and you just can’t figure out what to do with your time in order to make your community a better place. There are others who are faced with difficult decisions regarding their declining health or an abrupt medical issue that has suddenly come to their attention. I am also mindful of many people who are grieving the loss of a loved one and they just don’t know how they will ever come to terms with their loss. Many are hurt over relationships that have ended and they wonder if their future holds any promise for them. Numerous families are worried about their financial situation and how they will make ends meet each week. How can we as followers of Christ be content with whatever our situation in life may be?
The Apostle Paul reveals to us his secret for being content in his letter to the church at Philippi. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4: 11b-13). Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is the source of his strength and the power that gives him peace and assurance in his daily life.
As a minister to the Gentiles, Paul endured many hardships along the way. In 2 Corinthians 11: 23-28, Paul tells us that he was imprisoned, flogged, and exposed to death many times. He received forty lashes minus one, was beaten with rods three times, stoned, and shipwrecked three times. Paul had also been exposed to danger from: the sea and rivers, bandits and his fellow countrymen, and false brothers. Paul tells us that he has labored and toiled, gone without sleep, endured hunger and thirst and had often gone without food. He suffered while being cold and naked while all the time facing the daily pressure of caring for and ministering to the many churches that he founded.
Our focus must be firmly fixed on Christ who will give us the necessary strength to make it through whatever comes our way on a daily basis. The world that we live in tries to convince us that we are somehow not complete unless we have an expensive new car in our driveway or the name brand clothing that will make us stand out. The world view tries to trick us into believing that we are not complete unless we have the latest and greatest product that hits the marketplace. Advertisers tell us daily that we should acquire those things that will make us happy, because we deserve it. A follower of Christ is not concerned with acquiring material things but rather those things that are eternal. Our focus must be on Christ and the promise of an eternal life where we will be so much more than merely content.
Prayer: God help us to learn to be content and thankful for what we have and not to desire those things that the world tells us that we need. Those material things or desires can never truly fulfill us, only the gift and the promise of an eternal life with you can make us complete. Help us to learn to completely trust in you for all that we need and to have faith in you God when life brings difficulties our way. God, you created each of us and you continue to remember us and watch over us, even if we sometimes forget about you. Forgive us God for believing the lie that we can somehow go through life without you. Continue to guard our hearts and our minds in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I pray for each person that reads this message and it is my hope that God will grant you peace, joy and contentment in your daily walk with God.