Saturday, March 23, 2019
Contentment and Gratitude
For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:11–12 NKJV)
Researchers have found a link to gratitude and longevity, the quality of your relationships, and even how well you sleep. Just learning to be thankful for what you already have can make you happy.
The apostle Paul found contentment because he rejoiced in the Lord. He wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NKJV). Paul didn’t say we should rejoice in circumstances; he said we are to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul continued, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (verses 11–13 NKJV).
Paul was under house arrest when he wrote these words. Yet he was content. Let’s not misunderstand. Paul wasn’t necessarily saying that we should be satisfied with our present spiritual condition. Earlier in Philippians he wrote, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (3:12 NKJV). We should not be satisfied with where we are in that sense. But having said that, we should find contentment in our relationship with God.
Contentment comes when we rejoice in the Lord. Think about your life right now. Can you learn to love what you have instead of what you don’t have? What you have in Christ is far greater than anything you don’t have in life. You have Jesus. Therefore, you have everything you need for now and eternity. And Jesus has you. That makes all the difference in the world.
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