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. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
Do you know people who manage to complain when there seems to be no reason to complain, no matter how well things are going? Do you know people who are only happy when things are going well for them?
I know people who can find the silver lining to any gray cloud…and people who can find a gray cloud behind any silver lining. It’s all about perspective when it comes to contentment.
There’s a topical hashtag I see a lot in social media, #soblessed, but I only see it when people are describing their good times.
We can be content during the bad times, not just the good. If we choose, we can even be discontent during good times!
The Secret, as Paul revealed to the believers in Philippi, was to acknowledge that we can only live in and through our circumstances in our own strength…but if we let the strength of Christ flow through us, we can not only live above our circumstances–good or bad–but overcome! It doesn’t matter what fortunes or calamities befall you if the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Because God controls all things, He allows all circumstances to occur in our lives. We can trust in His higher purposes, thoughts, and ways regarding the ultimate purpose for them. We can also thank Him for entrusting us to trust Him to carry us through them and be made stronger and more pure on the other side!
As believers, our contentment is independent of our circumstances, running deeper than any worldly happiness or pain. He is our rock, our anchor, no matter how the winds of life blow. Hang onto His promises and walk with Him, eyes always on Him, because you truly are #soblessed, no matter what is happening around you. And your heart will change from crying out, “Why me, Lord?” to “Thank You, Lord!”
Chris Tomlin’s “Holy is the Lord” praises God Almighty, whose earth is filled with His glory, and the joy of the Lord is our strength!