on contentment…

Contentment.

The World English Dictionary defines it:

  1. mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are
  2. assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed course of action, etc.

Paul wrote to the Philippians about it:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

And now I share some of my thoughts on it:

Are you content?

It seems it is a constant struggle for me to be content where I am in life, not wishing to be elsewhere doing other things or being with other people. Even in writing this though, I am grateful for the fresh revelation that comes. My immediate thought is how I am constantly striving to really and truly be content. And immediately the problem is clear: I am constantly striving. Though I desire with each season to be mentally and emotionally satisfied with things as they are and to be willing to accept my circumstances regardless, it’s been all about what I have been doing. It’s been about my strength.

In the same chapter Paul wrote about contentment, he wrote about releasing anxiety, trusting God, holy provision, and feasting our minds on that which is excellent and praiseworthy. Paul endured chains and persecution, hunger and abundance, poverty and affluence. He tasted of many seasons of life. And He learned the secret of contentment:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

It’s about HIM. Not about me.

It’s about His strength, not my striving.

It’s about His will, His purposes, and His glory. He is sovereign, He is good, and He is unchanging. What reason have I to be discontent? When it’s all in perspective- when it’s about him- it’s amazing how quickly our minds and emotions settle into a willingness to accept the season and circumstances we are encountering, not clinging to the past nor longing for the future.

In this season, this means bringing Him glory in Elevate, in STARS, and in Life Group. It means giving myself to my job and doing my best. It means waiting… applying to graduate schools and then waiting to hear back, to make a plan, or to know what my next year looks like. It means surrender. And it means rejoicing over all of it. I am grateful for this season. And in my gratitude, I find His strength to be content.

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