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12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

Were the Rolling Stones right?


Former Presidential Advisor, Arthur Schlessinger Jr., stated, “Our society is characterized by inextinguishable discontent.”  We long for fulfillment but we search for it in all the wrong places.  We scrimp and save to buy the new car, but the new car smell goes away.  We sacrifice for the new home in the upscale neighborhood, but if we’re not careful, what we own soon begins to own us.  The “stuff” we seek doesn’t bring the satisfaction we long for.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived and the richest man of his time wrote this in Ecclesiastes 7:29, “God made mankind upright, but man has gone in search of many schemes.”  We fill our lives with many schemes to bring us happiness, yet I submit that there is a vast difference between happiness and joy.  Happiness depends upon “happenings” or circumstances.  Joy is a deep abiding understanding that God is in charge and He will work all things out for good for those who love Him no matter what the circumstances (Romans 8:28).

The Apostle Paul teaches us how to find the joyful life we seek in the book of Philippians.  Chapter four opens with him thanking the church in Philippi for their concern and care for him.  But he informs them, “ 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.”  Then he caps off his proclamation with this profound statement, “I can do all things through him (Christ) who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).

The word “content” in this section of scripture is the Greek word “autarkia.”  It means sufficiency.  Paul found his sufficiency in Christ. Being in the center of God’s will brought contentment and satisfaction.  Even though the Rolling Stones trained us that we “Can’t get no satisfaction,” Paul’s words dispute their claims.

The Apostle didn’t decide God was his sufficiency only when he’s living in the lap of luxury being fanned by beautiful women and eating fresh grapes that were freely supplied to him. He wrote these words from prison! His contentment wasn’t dependent on his circumstances; he sought his satisfaction in his sovereign Savior. A few verses later he proclaims to all who will listen, “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.

I want to be like Paul—finding contentment wherever I am.  It sure saves a lot of empty striving, don’t you think?

Comments

April 07, 2016 @09:45 am

Yes, and thank you!

Brettney
April 07, 2016 @09:44 am

I needed this reminder as I pray for a mate!

Cheryl
 

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