|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be thankful”
Our Bible verse for today: “I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content – whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Philippians 4:12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Learn to be content”
Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving. Presumably we all paused to consider how blessed we are and we gave thanks to God for it. That’s good. Periodically we should pause to give thanks. It’s a healthy exercise because it requires us to focus on what we do have rather than on what we don’t have, and it indicates at least some level of contentment and thanksgiving for it.
We should do this more often. The Apostle Paul did. He had the habit of devotionally considering the many ways God had blessed him, and then he gave thanks for those blessings. As a result, he remained focused on what he had rather than on what he didn’t have, and that then developed within him a great sense of contentment. That’s what he was writing about in Philippians 4:12.
But the attribute of contentment didn’t develop automatically in Paul. As he explained in that verse, he had “learned” the secret of being content. It was an attribute he wanted to have and so he studied it, prayed about it, practiced it, and slowly over time developed it. He “learned” how to be content. We need to learn this too, and the practice of giving thanks for what we have is a great way to learn it. It is perhaps the only way to learn it.
What’s especially intriguing about Paul’s declaration of contentment is that the letter to the Philippians was written from a prison cell near the end of his life. Paul had suffered greatly for the cause of Christ over many decades of faithful service and now he was a sick old man, in prison, and probably close to being executed. And he knew it. Yet in the middle of that, he wrote this joyful letter which God included in the New Testament and which has come to be known as “The Epistle of Joy”.
Paul’s secret? He learned to be content. He trained himself to be content and he did it by routinely pausing to give thanks to God for everything. He made it a habit to always focus on what he had rather than on what he didn’t have and he gave thanks for it. May we learn to do the same. Let’s train ourselves to be content.
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