To Be Content Whatever the Circumstances
by Anna Balsamo
Heart Song Worship Center
"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." (Philippians 4:11-13)
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 & every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
The Lord has blessed many of us in the United States with an abundance of food, clothes and the money to buy them with. We eat out in restaurants often and think nothing of spending $10 to see a two hour movie. Every room in our homes is furnished attractively and the landscaping surrounding it is impeccable. We send our children to the best colleges and we drive cars that cost more than mortgages did 35 years ago! Yes, He has certainly blessed many of us here in the U.S.
Suddenly, in just the short span of a few months things are changing. The company you thought you'd retire from is almost bankrupt and the savings in your bank account are being drawn upon with ever increasing frequency. It's much more economical now to eat at home and buying that $40 blouse suddenly seems absurd. The things you relied on in the past and even took for granted might be gone forever much like the begonias you planted in your garden last summer.
I listened day after day to reports on the evening news that proclaimed devastating news in the stock market and in the jobless rate across our nation. All the newscasters foretold gloom and despair and my heart grew concerned and burdened for our country; its people and even for my family. Should we stockpile canned goods and emergency supplies? Should we purchase a generator in case we all lost power? How about buying a gun? There was talk on the news that if things really got bad there would be looting and riots like never seen before. Drastic times call for drastic measures, right?
So I prayed seeking the Lord's wisdom concerning all the horrific news coming at me from every direction. This was His response to my plea:
"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 & every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)
I was a bit surprised by His choice of scripture. I thought He'd comfort me in a more direct way like, "do not be anxious for anything", or "My God shall supply your every need", no, not this time. This time He answered and His response to me wasn't quite so obvious. What did He mean, "I have learned the secret to being content"? What was He trying to say to me?
Just this - the peace and contentment in my life are not because of the blessings He chooses to give - He is the peace and the contentment of my heart; of my life. Not the new car or the pretty bracelet my sisters gave me for my birthday. If I didn't have "things" would I be able to say like Paul, "that I have learned contentment"? Would I, could I be happy with just Him?
He wanted me to know that even if I lost all the comforts and blessings He has so graciously given - I would never lose Him! Will He take care of us if we should face difficult circumstances? Yes. Maybe not quite the way we have been accustomed to in the past. But we can be content, secure, and happy because He is our God; He is our refuge; He is faithful.
Our focus shouldn't be on all the "what ifs", what if my husband loses his job; what if we lose our home, etc. Our focus should be on Him and His Word. He is the reason for our security. Remember, "For God has said, 'never will I leave you, never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5).
That is how Paul learned to be content whether he had or didn't have. His focus wasn't on things. It was on Him; our Savior Jesus Christ.
So what's your focus today? Is it on all the gloomy news spewing from your television? Or is it on Him? Determine to focus on His promises in spite of what you see or hear. Determine to praise Him for, "God inhabits the praises of His people" (Psalm 22:3). We can learn to be content - with Him!