Our Bible verse for today: “… I have learned to be content in 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 4:11-13 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Be content with the life God has given you.”
“Hi, my name is Jim and I’m an aging hippie.” It’s true, I came of age in the 60’s. I even have a red, white, and blue “peace sign” tattoo on my left shoulder. It has been there for almost fifty years. (It was cool at the time but has generated some questions and caused some problems since then. But those are stories for another time.)
I tell you that only as a means of introducing a song from that era which will help us to continue thinking about our theme from yesterday about learning to be content in life. The song is “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. It is a soft and beautiful ballad which paints a picture of a young couple in love, living a simple life in a simple home, and being completely content with it.
“I’ll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.
Staring at the fire, for hours and hours as I listen to you play your love songs all night long for me.
Our house is a very, very, very fine house, with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy because of you …”
We live in a society today where, by and large, people are not content. Instead, we’re unsettled and constantly yearning for more, bigger, and better. But that’s not the life God wants for us. He wants us to learn to be content with what He has given us. That’s what the Apostle Paul was writing about in Philippians 4:11-13. His life had been a roller coaster of highs and lows, ups and downs, abundance and great need, but through it all he had learned to be content. And please don’t miss the fact that he had “learned” to be content. He said it twice in three sentences. This was something he had to learn.
What Paul discovered was that God is sovereign over all the situations and seasons of our lives and that regardless of whatever the external circumstances happen to be at any given moment, we can still be at peace in our heart and content with our life, thanks to the deep and rich relationship we have with Jesus Christ our Lord.
That doesn’t mean that Paul didn’t try to improve his circumstances as he could. He did. It just means that he didn’t stress and strain about it. He found the good in his circumstances; he fully enjoyed whatever there was to enjoy; he remained faithful; and he continued to trust God.
I encourage you to look for the good in your current season of life (it is there and you will find it if you look for it). Then learn to be content with the life that God has given you.