Monday, August 27, 2007

Even the Simple Things

Philipians 4:11-13 "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

I love this passage of Scripture. Such encouraging words. As I have listened to so many pray over the years, and heard people give encouragement, I have often heard Phil. 4:13 quoted. It is one of those verses we hold onto, sometimes for dear life, when things get rough. But even more than the way it encompasses "everything", I love this verse in context of what Paul is saying.

He's thanking the Philipians for their concern for him. Most likely they had sent him a gift, probably money, to support his ministry. He goes on to talk about how he's not asking for more; He knows that he'll be taken care of. Then he speaks of contentment. His statement "I can do everything through him who gives me strength," is in direct reference to being content in any and every situation.

The reason this strikes me is that we often use this encouraging phrase when life is really hard, and things seem to go from bad to worse. But what about everyday life? What about when you have to get out of bed in the morning and it seems like the hardest thing in the world? What about when you have a family to feed and you feel you just can't go to that same old job again? What about when your spouse and your children are the last people in the world you want to wake up to? This is what Paul is speaking of: everyday life. If we can learn to rely on God in the everyday things, how much easier will those once-in-a-lifetime catastrophes be?! We have to practice contentment and trust on a regular basis, so we can stand firm when the storms of life rage.

In our society it is so easy to become discontent with what have. There's always something or someone better. We compare ourselves to the proverbial "Joneses", and we never have enough. It's sad really. The enemy keeps us so preoccupied with what we don't have or what we hate about our lives, we scarcely have time to enjoy the wonderful things God has chosen to bless us with. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God has given us everything we need for "life and godliness". This is the truth. We have all we need. And when we don't, we need not fear, only stand firm and remember: "my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

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