To be content 24/7
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. (Philippians 4:11-14)
"None of us can control the environment of our lives completely. We try of course, and take every precaution to insult ourselves against external shocks. Nevertheless, accidents on the road stop traffic; storms crash down trees, biopsies come back positive. Th list is endless: flat tires, power outages, layoffs at work, sprained ankles, sick children." (a)
Have you ever really thought about what Paul was writing in the verses above — no matter the situation, sunny bright days or sitting beside a sick child, we must be CONTENT IN ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES. To be content when life is good is easy, but to remain content when life is falling apart is so much harder and most of us fail dismally.
However, we cannot and do not do this alone — in fact God never wanted us to struggle with contentment alone, He wants us to always lean on Him and find our contentment through Christ who strengthens us. The list of Paul's trials are daunting, but he had within him an internal "fountain of sufficiency from God, whether he was well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want" (a)
So the next time things go pear-shaped (car accident, money issues, problems with the children or illness), remember that God is both a powerful and loving God and His plans are always good and right. We may not understand the reasons at the time, but we must trust in God and find contentment through His strength.
Many Christian women bloggers recommend to working women to pray constantly so they can come home full-time to where they belong. I have prayed earnestly and still find myself working and it was at this point that I realised that God's plans for me were different to others and for some reason He has placed me outside of the home working in an office rather than at home. I have learnt to accept this and have found contentment in God's plans for me. Someday I will fully understand God's plan but in the meantime, I will do my very best to please Him and be content in ALL things.
If we want to have 24/7 joy, we must not see joy only coming from good things, we need to learn to extend our joy and contentment to include the not so good and the downright nasty.
I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
(a) sourced from "Contentment: The Secret to a Lasting Calm" by Richard A. Swenson