Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: RELEASE (08/02/18)
- TITLE: Contentment in Christ
By Louis Detweiler
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I release my problems to God. I ask him for wisdom and direction and then try to obey him. How do we release our burdens onto the Lord? Through prayer is one way. There are many sermons about the danger of trying to go our own way and then fail. When we turn to the Lord in humility and surrender we can succeed. God enables us to get through our problems. God may not solve our problems, but he will help us find a way to endure our situation. One of the problems I have is making a living as a writer. I am frustrated with a poor pay check, but God is helping me get through this journey. I have many unique life experiences that I can write about and am learning valuable skills that can help me in future employment.
When we release our frustration to the Lord, then we will be able to overcome our dissatisfaction. Paul wrote in Philippians (NIV Study Bible) 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 and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
Paul considered our problems in this life not worth considering as to what is before us. Romans (NIV Study Bible (8:18); “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Paul learned to release his frustration to God. Through prayer and devotion to God, Paul learned to accept life and its hardships and pursue his calling; to preach the good news to the world. If Paul had gotten bogged down in his hardships and worked hard to make money or make his life more comfortable than he would never have been able to write letters in the New Testament. Instead, he released his hardships and accepted his “thorn in the flesh” and continued ministering the best he could. God used Paul’s life for something more important than making money or a comfortable life style. God is using Paul’s effort to spread the Gospel into the world; in the past, now, and in the future.
Being content is not easy. How can someone be content when someone else has more money or is going on vacations while you stay home and work at a job that barely pays your bills. I have had to learn that contentment does not come from going on expensive trips or having a lavish house. Contentment comes from following Jesus Christ and living as he wants us to live. Contentment comes from having a strong faith in Jesus Christ.
My minister is always telling the congregation at the end of every sermon to go out and spread the word and love each other. Never has there not been a time of contention in the church. How is the church to grow if there is not harmony in the church? The church needs all the people working together in love and support. No doubt he is terribly frustrated. How does he handle his frustration? He is constantly trying to smooth relationships and reconcile differences. This is hard work since we all have big egos and we don’t understand the importance of humility. We want to see ourselves as important and be worthy of recognition.
Likewise, it is hard for us, ordinary people, to let go of our desire for money, power, and the good life to spread the Gospel. Only when we follow Christ and accept his love with obedience and forgiveness then we find contentment and happiness. When we release our needs and frustration to God then we can find contentment.
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