Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Content And Satisfied"

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."  Philippians 4:11,12
I would like to read this verse to you in the Amplified Bible:  "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.  I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want."

If ever a person went through hardships it was Paul.  He was beaten on more than one occasion.  He was shipwrecked three times; left for dead; stoned; imprisoned; hungry; thirsty and in perils.  (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)  Yet he was "content".  He wasn't vengeful wanting to get back at those who had beaten, stoned or imprisoned him.  He wasn't bitter and angry.  He wasn't fearful.  He didn't accuse God of not taking care of him.  He didn't turn his back on God.  He wasn't anxious, depressed or despondent.  He was content though he was in personal lack and want; in hunger; in dire circumstances; physically hurting; in chains between Roman guards; floating in a sea; etc.  He was actually "satisfied".  He wasn't disturbed by it all or disquieted. 
How is that possible?  We might say, "Well, that was Paul.  He was 'Super Christian'.  He was an apostle".   No, Paul was like the rest of us.  But he had learned something that many of us don't learn or don't allow ourselves to learn.  He had learned how to be content.  How had he learned this "contentment"?  By learning who his God was.  (That I might know Him.- Philippians 3:10)
He knew that the Lord was his strength.  He knew that no matter what happened to him, the Lord was with him.  He knew that his God was able to do whatever He wanted to do on Paul's behalf.  He had completely surrendered to the will of God for his life.  He knew that Christ was in him and working through him.  He knew that there was nothing that the Lord could not enable him to do, give him grace to go through and strengthen him to endure.  "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]." (verse 13)  He knew the Christ that lived in him, and he knew it was the Christ that lived in him that would help him make it through anything.  Do you know that?  That is where the contentment in whatever you face and go through comes. 
Have a great day.  Are you content in trying situations?  Do you know how to be satisfied where you are?  Or are you disturbed and disquieted by the trials that are going on around you?    
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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