"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11
These words were spoken by a man who had been shipwrecked three times, beaten with rods three times and left for dead, always in peril everywhere he went and was cast into prison. They weren't spoken by someone who lived a life of ease, got everything he wanted and enjoyed things always going his way. Yet did you notice his attitude? I am sure if he had had his way he would have rather not had to sit in a dark prison dungeon, or been beaten, or been mocked, or lived in peril, or gone through any of the hardships he went through.
The fact of life is: we don't always get what we want. Things don't always go the way we plan or hope. We don't always get our way about everything. As I just said, that's a fact of life, so that is not the issue. The issue is "attitude". What happens when you don't get your way? How do you handle it? What type of attitude do you exhibit? How do you respond in those times? Do you pout? Do you get angry? Do you curse? Do you throw things? Do you let everyone know it? Do you make life miserable for those around you? Do you look for ways to try to manipulate the situation until you get your way?
We all want our way- that is part of our selfish, centered-nature, fallen nature. But when we come to Christ and are born again we become a "new creation"- old things are passed away, all things become new. We now have a "new life"- the life of Christ. It is no longer I, but Christ living in me. Paul exhibited what that means. He was one who was used to getting his way, but when he met Christ things changed and it was no longer about him getting his way. Later he penned these words, "I have learned... to be content."
Having a Christ-like attitude doesn't just automatically happen, it comes through a process of yielding, surrendering and submitting to God, through letting His word govern our lives, through denying our flesh, through renewing our minds, through letting the Holy Spirit change us.
Again, let me repeat- you are not always going to get your way about everything. But when you don't what kind of attitude are you going exhibit? One that is selfish, focused only on what you want? Or one that is Christ-like and will glorify Him?
Have a great day. It isn't about whether you get what you want or not, it's about your attitude when you don't.
For further reading:
2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 5:17