Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Content

Do you struggle with being content? If this were a video you would clearly see my hand in the air saying, "Yes!" We live in a time and world where everything is changing and we must continue to stay up with the times. We "have" to have it. Or we "need" this or that. New computers, phones, ipods, TVs, clothes and cars tempt us everyday. Now I'm not suggesting we all where sackcloth and eat locust and honey but I am recommending we examine our hearts to see whether they are content or not. Maybe a good way to look into the heart is to ask: Do I crave the latest and greatest thing or am I satisfied in Christ Jesus?

Paul addressed this same issue in the book of Philippians: " I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need" (4:11-12). No matter the circumstance we are to be content. There is only one solution to the sin of discontentment. Paul was not content in his own strength. I will never be content in my own strength. By our own strength we will find the toys of this world to satisfy a longing impossible to satisfy through fleeting pleasures. Paul says, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (4:13). Contentment comes through the strength God supplies in all circumstances. The good, the bad and the ugly are satisfied in Christ Jesus.

This is the way to have life abundantly because Christ satisfies completely in every area of life. "Every earnest Christian wants to live a truly beautiful life, whatever the circumstances may be" (J.R. Miller). The truly beautiful life is lived out through the strength God supplies.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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