The Secret to Contentment


Growing up my favorite bible verse was without question, Philippians 4:13. In it, Paul writes, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Thanks to Christian marketers, I had this verse on everything. I had t-shirts, necklaces, posters.  Jesus, Inc. plastered that verse on anything that a young boy who dreamed of playing in the NBA could imagine. And this verse was assurance that I could do it, despite lacking the gifting (or the height) in order to make this a reality. 

Marketers tend to leave out verse 12 though when this verse comes up. It's probably for good reason, it wouldn't be nearly as appealing. In it Paul provides important context to the purpose of Christ's strength when he writes, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

And then he says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Paul discovered the secret of contentment. 

Jesus gives us the strength to be content in every situation. Paul has experienced the good and the bad, the neediness and abundance - and he's learned that in every situation, Jesus gives to him something that nothing else can.  

The same is true in our own life. Whether you have the dream job or the job that you dread, whether your relationships are thriving or just barely surviving, whether you have money in the bank or are just barely getting by, the secret to contentment doesn't lie in changing your situation.

@@The secret to contentment isn't about improving your situation, it's about changing the source of your hope.@@ Jesus gives to us what our job, what our money, and what our relationships can't. Jesus gives to you grace that covers every sin. Jesus gives to you an identity that is secure in his work, not yours. Jesus gives to you peace than transcends even the worst of circumstances. 

@@The secret to contentment doesn't rest on circumstances, it rests on a person.@@ It rests on the goodness, the faithfulness, and the favor of the God who meets you in the midst of your situation. It rests on the promise that whatever you have or don't have, Jesus meets you in that moment giving to you the strength that you need. 

I don't know what your situation is and what is causing you frustration. But I can assure you this: you can make it. And your ability to make it through this moment doesn't rely on your strength, it relies on His. Because no matter what you face, you can do all things - through Jesus who gives you strength.

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