Contentment

Contentment is such a hard word to swallow.  How can a person be content in a world that is constantly changing?  Life is hard.  There are constant battles and struggles to deal with, which makes contentment an ever changing word.  A pastor once told me that life was a circle of continuous patterns.  Things are good—then they are bad—and this merry-go-round pattern duplicates itself over and over until you die.  This mode of thinking is not very encouraging, yet it is very true.  So how to you stay content in your daily life when so many things around you might be crumbling?

The only way to truly be content is to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, when your life turns upside down or when you are sailing on cloud nine, you can be content.  You can be content in any situation, because Christ will give you the strength to endure whatever comes your way.

Contentment is not just for the sunny days in life.  To be truly content, you must be content when life is difficult too.  I know this might sound strange, but think of what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13, “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.”  In these verses, Paul reminds us that throughout life’s circumstances, he will be content.  If Paul can be content in all he had to deal with during his lifetime, then we must learn how to do the same.

I cannot even being to imagine the perils Paul dealt with, but I know the Lord was with him every step of the way and gave him the strength and courage he needed to face any trial or joy.  In the same way, the Lord is here with us, and He will give us the strength to endure our moments of pain and happiness.  There is no doubt in my mind that Christ has been with me during various times in my life when I thought the weight on my shoulders was more that I could handle.

When I was a teenager, I volunteered at the local children’s hospital.  Every child I met and worked with was so amazing, because they were so brave.  The amount of courage they bestowed encouraged my heart in ways I have difficulty explaining, because they taught me so much about life and what it means to be happy.  Despite having to deal with cancer, dialysis, cystic fibrosis, liver failure, and even brain surgery, these children faced these nightmare situations with perseverance in a way that made those around them stop and listen, because these individuals were so moved by these children’s lives.  I stood in awe at the way each child dealt with their illness, and I knew going forward I wanted my life to look different than it had in the past.  I wanted to conquer trials like they did—with great strength and courage.

Now I am not saying that life will be easy from here on even with the strength of the Lord.  These children rejoiced and grieved for the good and bad news that was brought to them, yet they also carried an inner strength which spoke volumes.  I remember one boy going parasailing and zip-lining after he had brain surgery!  Oh to live life bravely and without abandon like that!  In their own way, these children found contentment in their world, and their parents found it with them, despite their circumstances.  As I said, contentment is not just for the sunny days, it is for all days—no matter the weather.

I encourage you to live life boldly like this.  Rely upon the strength that only the Lord can give.  In that, you will find true contentment.  Christ wants the best for your life, because He loves you, and He wants to help you face all the joys and struggles in your life.  Believe me, it is much easier to have Him by your side than to go it alone.  We were never meant to go it alone anyway.  Christ delights in us.  He knew our life story before we did; therefore, allow Him to give you the courage you need to face each day, and at the end of it you will find what you were looking for all along–true contentment waiting in the arms of Jesus.

 

 

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