Monday, August 15, 2022

Choosing Contentment Wherever You Are

Monday, August 15, 2022

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 NIV

Choosing Contentment Wherever You Are

Paul wrote these verses to the church of Corinth to remind them that although they were trying to live right and do the will of God they would always have someone trying to destroy them. Even though Paul told the church that all of these negative things would happen, he assured them that if they made the best out of these bad situations then they would be victorious.  The same goes for you.

When you are absolutely, positively stuck!!
Are you in a situation that you wish you weren’t in but you feel like it is the right thing to stay or that it would not be honoring to God to get out?  How do you live there?  How do you cope? Where do you find the strength to continue with the right spirit, attitude and still be content?  Well-meaning friends seem to see the answer so clearly and never understand why you just don’t do what they think you need to do!

Just because it seems hopeless and it seems like a bad situation, God is working on our behalf at that very moment.  What can you say to that?   If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 NIV
Hold on – for joy comes in the morning

To persevere in a hard situation, you must hold on to the promises of God that you know to be true, even if it doesn’t feel like God is anywhere near.  The promise or blessing is closer than you think or feel.    This is now, the present, not your future.  Your present situation does not determine your future!  There is light at the end of the tunnel and joy in the morning!

What if I become discontent?
If God is good, could He possibly want me to be unhappy?  The problem is that God also calls us to righteousness, and often that requires giving up our personal happiness for the greater good. This is referred to as sacrifice, and it's never easy, fun, or "happy."  As Christians we are even called to rejoice and be glad in our trials because troubles are valuable to our character and spiritual growth. Romans 5:3-5a says, "… We also exult [rejoice] in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint

Maybe God is going to use your trial for His purposes:  We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

Maybe God is conforming you to His image. Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

Maybe God is using these sufferings to bring you to deeper faith and repentance.

Maybe God is using these sufferings to teach your children how to resolve conflict. God has given you the responsibility to exemplify a godly attitude to your children.

Maybe God will use you in the future to help someone else in the same situation.

Okay, so God is using this time in my life to change me.  How do I keep a good attitude? Pour your love into others, even the ones that are hurting you so badly right now.  It not only helps others, it heals you. It brings purpose to a wandering, lost and hurting heart. It changes light to darkness and justice to injustice. It’s what Jesus came for – to love. To care about people no matter who they are.  Love poured out equals contentment. Love kept to yourself equals a life of discontentment and striving, looking, searching for the one thing that can fill your void.  

Choose to be content. If you choose to stick it out and obey God, choose to be content.  Start finding the good in the people and things that you think are the worst and focus on that. Start praying and asking God to fill you with His love.  Ask Him to help you pour out His love to others, taking the focus off your pain and discontentment. The choice is yours.

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.  Philippians 4:11-13 ESV 

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