I was attempting to go to bed, but I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to write this article.I believe that this is a word for someone that needs it.
There is someone that is really struggling and frustrated over some situations that don’t seem to change. Be at peace as God is very much in control. He is perfecting some things which concerns you. Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. May God's grace be sufficient in your time of weakness. You may also want to read another article that I recently posted called, “Surrender-The Key to Victory”.
Learning to be content, is something we all are learning. God is endeavoring to bring us all into that place of rest no matter what is going on.
Paul said in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. The word “content” in the Greek taken from the Online Bible means:
1) Sufficient for one’s self, strong enough or processing enough to need no aid or support
2) Independent of external circumstances
3) Contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, though the slenderest
Note that Paul stated that he learned to be content. He learned it in the state that he was in. In other word’s, he learned it in the midst of the storm. It was not an automatic thing. All of the struggles and circumstances that we seem to face, we are to learn to be content in the midst of them. Jesus even learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Years ago the Holy Spirit told me “Circumstances are not the problem, when we change, circumstances will automatically change. They are only circumstances because of the way that we view them”. How often do we come up against a wall so to speak and ask the Lord to change something? Do we ever stop and think that maybe He wants to change us more than the circumstance? When we learn to trust and walk by faith, the journey gets easier. Our frustration and struggle is born out of our carnal nature. We get frustrated when we don’t get what we think we should or something doesn’t happen when or the way we thought. The real problem is that we must give up our control. Jesus may be our Saviour, but is He our Lord? God said in Isaiah 55:9, that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. We must learn to get His perspective rather than our own.
Years ago the Holy Spirit asked me to do something. I tried for a long time to do it, yet nothing ever came of my efforts. I got very frustrated and gave up. Then one Sunday at Church, the Holy Spirit told me that I was striving. I thought, striving, how can that be? He then told me that, yes; He had asked me to do the thing, but not without Him. Oh, what a lesson I learned. I tried to do it in my strength with me in control. A statement that probably the Holy Spirit gave me is: “Focus on the problem; it never gets resolved. Focus on Jesus; I find that it rarely was a problem at all”. I have since learned to look at the Bible and God through one scripture. Zechariah 4:6 says, “….Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts”. I’ve learned that it is never about me, that it is only about Him.
So where does this contentment come from? Galatians 5:22-23 says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance….
The fruit includes the word’s peace and faith. We are to be as Paul, at peace no matter the storm. Remember the story about the disciples with Jesus in the boat on the lake? A great storm came up while Jesus was asleep, (Luke 8:23-24). The disciples feared for their lives. Jesus just rebuked the wind, and the storm was gone. God is endeavoring to teach us to be able to sleep in the storm. If we are in the spirit and allowing the spirit man to rule, we can do as Jesus did; just rebuke the storm and go to sleep. Jesus is trying to get us from the disciples’ view of the storm, to His view. We must notice that peace is one of the fruit of the Spirit, not the flesh. The more that we die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to rule, the more this fruit will become evident in our lives. Why faith? Faith is our believing no matter what we see. The devil hates us walking in faith. If we stand in faith and at peace, then how can the devil get to us? No matter his best shot, we will not be moved by the attack. We are told in Ephesians 6:16, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked”. Faith therefore is a defense. With a shield of faith we are protected so the enemies darts just bounce off. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Not only do we keep the enemies darts from penetrating us we please God. Contentment is great gain. Contentment does not allow us to be ruled by money, food, material things, fleshly lusts or any externals. The cares of this world will never choke out God’s word. Contentment comes by being ruled by our spirit man. This is one of the most important things that God has been doing in us, as it makes us free to follow Him. I am not saying that is easy because the world’s way of doing things teaches to always be in control. But I’ve found that God’s ways are always better.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
The gain we have by allowing our spirit man to rule no matter the circumstance, is the best possible thing that can happen to us. We please God, squelch the enemy, and God is able to use us, as we are no longer ruled by anything other than His precious Holy Spirit. To me, that is contentment and great gain.