“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”
- the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians
If I am willing to stop and be honest with myself for just a few moments these words create in me many more questions than answers.
Can I say this? Do I live a life controlled and consumed by contentment?
When was the last time I was truly content? Where was I? What was I doing?
What does contentment look like? Feel Like? Can it be experienced?
How much money do I need? How much success do I need? How complete do my relationships need to be? How much control do I need to have?
I know what Whatever means. It means, no matter what. But, people I love die. But, I don’t live up to my own expectations. But, I am afraid of the future and ashamed of the past.
What are the things of this world that I can completely trust? Who are the people in this world I can completely trust? Can I even trust myself?
One word comes to mind, Hope. I must live with Hope. Hope, that Jesus did die for my sins, is my redeemer and the way to eternal life. Hope, that the Holy Spirit is with me and will comfort and guide me. Solomon reminds me, “Anyone who is among the living has hope.” I’m still alive so there is hope for me. And yes I mean that both ways. Hope is for me and there is Hope for me. My only hope for living a life of contentment is to learn to live with Hope. I must each day place all of my trust in God who is sovereign over all. Yes, I doubt. Yes, I make mistakes. But, the God who fearfully and wonderfully made me will never leave me or forsake me.
As christians we often face many challenges in our personal lives and in our walk with Christ. Sometimes we might feel discouraged and as if we have fallen off track. But Isaiah 43:19 reminds us that although we may feel lost or discouraged God can always give us a new beginning and a fresh start. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Joyce Meyer wrote, “Our God is the God of 'do overs,' second chances, fresh starts and new beginnings.” During difficult times we can be encouraged by remembering that God is always with us and has our best interest at heart. No matter how many times we may feel we have fallen off track or made another mistake we can trust in the fact that God is always willing to give us a new beginning. You can read the full article from Joyce Meyer here: