"... for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"-Philippians 4:11-13.
Saying you are content in Christ when everything appears to be going great in your life is no big deal. What about when that's not the case? You know, when it seems as if your world is falling apart at every seam.
Contentment that exists only in an ideal environment is not true contentment.
Test and difficulties in life are guaranteed, whether one is a Christian or not. The true quality of our relationship with Christ is known during these times. If adversities cause us to become bitter toward Him and to stop serving Him, for example, such behavior calls into question our relationship with Him. Or, maybe we don't go so far as to stop serving Him, but during those dark times we no longer enjoy being a Christian; again, our relationship with Him has been weighed and found wanting.
Being content in Christ does not mean we have to love experiencing bad times. It does mean we will have inner peace, we will be able to rest in God's faithfulness to bring us out, and we will be able to continue faithfully serving Him-in the midst of the test. This kind of relationship exists only when the effect of Christ within us becomes far greater than the impact of the circumstances around us. This is indeed the kind of relationship the Lord's apostles had.
Contentment in Christ is not incidental to being born again. A person can be a new creation in Christ and be miserable at the same time. True contentment is a learning process. We must learn to effectively appropriate the Lord's help in all situations we find ourselves in. Once we have learned the mysteries of doing that, and become convinced that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us, then and only then is our contentment in Him genuine.
Dear Lord, thank You for having given me the wherewithal to thrive in any situation. Help me to model this truth in my life. Amen.
Read more articles by Frank King or search for articles on the same topic or others.