The bitter cold of trying circumstances can chill a person to the bone. And the stormy atmosphere we live in has led – I fear – most people to believe that true contentment will always remain outside their grasp of experience.
A Bold Faced Promise
The scriptures have laid out many indicators that life can be experienced on a rich, abundant plane. Jesus was pretty bold faced about it. The words of John 10:10 weren’t the result of Jesus and the boys collaborating – as copy writers – for an ancient version of Hallmark Cards.
There Is A Place Of Peace
Ease, untroubled, joyful, fulfilled, unworried, peace. All these are synonyms for contentment and it can be experienced in this life well before our last heartbeat.
I Have Learned Contentment
The apostle Paul put it this way as recorded in Philippians 4, “I have learned in whatever situation I find myself to be content.”
The whole 4th Chapter of Philippians is rich and worth slow cooker meditation. It’s revolves around financial affairs. (Frankly, that’s where most of us live as well.) But, it’s wealth of truth is applicable to far more than economics.
Notice: Paul said he “learned.” Contentment is a process of learning. It doesn’t “fall off the tree” and hit you in the head like a ripe apple if you “have enough faith.”
Btw…do you know how much I hate…I mean capitol “H” hate what some have done to the precious quality of God and made it into a man-made doctrinal dogma?
Contentment Can’t Be Contained As A Sound-Byte.
We, in the West, attempt to reduce contentment to a 140 character Tweet definition. But, fortunately it can’t be done. It’s too rich to be stripped down to our “favorite bits” like that. So, just for starters, a part of the contentment learning process can be found in the instructions of the whole chapter of Philippians 4.
But, for sake of a blog post, I want to point out just one facet.
What Did Paul Mean When He Used The Word, Content?
Paul was saying that he wasn’t dependent on outside sources. You see the word he use was composed of two words that mean, “self-sufficient.”
But, this is not a self sufficient independent attitude we too often think of as a virtue, today, in Western culture. He goes on to make a statement that clarifies his “self-sufficiency.”
Philippians, 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
This isn’t a verse to be quoted as a doctrinal “I’ll be alright” statement while we do everything in our power to figure out how we are going to fix things if God doesn’t come through the way we want Him to.
It’s about getting to taste His personality to the extent that I become increasing confident in the bottomless depth of His care for me.
It’s not a matter of independence. It’s an issue of interdependence with Him. As that learning process takes a deeper and deeper hold on my soul, I am discovering increasing contentment that’s not dependent on anything but Him. That in turn, as enriched my relationships with those around me.
You see…contentment smells sweet to me, but it also gives off a sweet aroma from me.
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