TUESDAY, MAY 8
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
Philippians 4:10-11 ESV
SECRETS OF CONTENTMENT: JOYFUL APPRECIATION
A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street. “But officer,” the man began, “I can explain…” “Just be quiet,” snapped the officer. “I’m going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back.” “But, officer, I just wanted to say…” replied the motorist. “And I said to keep quiet! You’re going to jail!” said the officer. A few hours later the officer looked in on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you the Chief’s at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.” “Don’t count on it,” answered the guy in the cell. “I’m the groom.”
In Philippians, the Apostle Paul was writing about contentment from a prison cell. He was living out his teaching. The church at Philippi had sent an offering to help him and Paul was thanking them. But he wanted them to know his thankfulness wasn’t so much because he was needy but because Jesus was sufficient. Paul shows the right balance – we ought to appreciate and rejoice over other’s gifts to us; but we shouldn’t rely upon them as the basis for meeting our needs or contentment. He had to help them grasp that God would supply all his needs; yet they were God’s instruments in this case and he was grateful.
One of the keys to experiencing contentment is gratitude for God’s grace and mercy in our life. The more we realize that God doesn’t owe us anything and that everything we have is a gift from Him, the more we will experience contentment. Write a list of 5 of the things you are most grateful for (you can list more than 5 if you want). How has God provided those things? Express your gratitude to Him.