Thursday, February 23, 2017

Psalm 23

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. 
Philippians 4:11-12

The 23rd Psalm begins with these familiar words, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  When someone says, "I shall not want," we need to sit up and take notice because this is an age of discontent. 
Listen to these words by Jason Lehman:  
It was spring. But it was summer I wanted - The warm days, and the great outdoors.
It was summer. But it was fall I wanted - The colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was fall. But it was winter I wanted - The beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter. But it was spring I wanted - The warmth, and the blossoming of nature.  
I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted - The freedom, and the respect.
I was 20. But it was 30 I wanted - To be mature, and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged. But it was 20 I wanted - The youth, and the free spirit.
I was retired. But it was middle-age I wanted - The presence of mind, without limitations.
Then my life was over, and I never got what I wanted.  
Many people never seem satisfied, and almost everybody wants more.  A little child wants more toys and more television time.  A teenager wants more freedom and more popularity.  Most of us adults want more possessions and more leisure time.  Certainly as we age, we want more health, more friends, and more loyalty from our children. 
We witness more and more people today who are far from content.  Their lives are marked by constant dissatisfaction with their circumstances and relationships.  They are easily angered when they do not get what they want when they want it.  Like spoiled children oblivious to the needs of others they live life discontent and unsatisfied.  
Obviously, God wants us to be a happy, satisfied people.  He has given us more than we need and far more than deserve.  While we shouldn't be restless and jealous, always chafing about what we don't have, the natural man in us cries out for more.  An attitude of gratitude will always bring us far more contentment than adding to the piles of things in our lives.
Paul stated that he had learned to be content.  We are certainly not naturally bent this way.  I believe this verse to be one of the greatest descriptions of Christian maturity.  May God teach us today to discover the secret of contentment.

Scripture to Claim:

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  1 Timothy 6:6-9

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