I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 all this through him who gives me strength.
I recite Philippians 4:13, I can do all this through him who gives me strength, many times throughout my Christian life. It’s my go to scripture when my own energy is failing and need help from God for strength, energy and courage to get through whatever it is I am going through.
The Apostle Paul wrote this scripture during one of his most difficult and fearful times in his life. But yet, he still found contentment and equanimity through the strength of Christ with unwavering trust in God even while facing pain and death. This is a true inspiration for us living in today’s world to remain faithful in Christ as we encounter the stresses and trials of our modern lives.
I admit I find it hard to be content when I run out of money for the month, the days my chronic health issues take hold, deadlines looming at work, being overwhelmed with household and family responsibilities and when I am scared of what the future holds.
But even during my hard times, I have Christ to turn to 24/7. Christ gives us the courage to face our fears and walk with confidence to persevere during challenging situations. When we are afraid, Jesus is our guide leading us through the dark, scary moments to move forward with fortitude and ease. He stands by our side while holding us close making sure we don’t face our difficulties alone.
When we turn to Christ for strength, it’s rooted deep in our hearts with a strong connection to God. We are being fed strength from the Lord instead pulling from our limited resources. The Holy Spirit penetrates through our souls giving us the grit and endurance to become spiritual warriors and be victorious in our battles both internal and external.
Christ has the ability to keep us calm, centered and grounded to respond with a cool head and a warm heart instead of overreacting in anger and bitterness. Reminding ourselves God is sovereign and in control, we can surrender to the process and trusting He will take care of the outcome.
Learning contentment is key to living a life of joy and peace. Paul was content, joyful and grateful while being chained to a Roman prison guard in jail. This was possible because Paul trusted God had a plan for his life and knew Christ was living deep within his heart, mind and soul.
By focusing on what really matters and being grateful for what we have, we can learn to be content no matter what circumstances we face. Putting our hearts and minds in Christ creates a deep sense of hope and meaning making all the other crap we’re dealing with small in comparison.
Undeserved grace and the love of God brings peace like a warm blanket protecting us from the harsh cold days. Surrendering to the will of God and His purpose for us helps to see the bigger picture and beyond the present situation.
When we understand this truth deep in our bones, we can face anything. Because God so loved the world and gave His only son to die for us, we have everything we need right now for joy, peace and contentment.