Philippians 4 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. I have learned the secret of being content – whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship.” Philippians 4: 12-14
What would make you happy? Can you imagine yourself in that state of contentment?
For me, I’m at a beach house. I have no mortgage, no debt. I have enough money to cover any reasonable whim. I’m thin & tan, and hey…there’s a south swell coming in. Let’s go surfing!!
It’s easy to be content when we’re living our dreams.
What if instead, we were forced to endure a nightmare? What if, while lying on my dream beach, a tsunami arose and swept away the coastline. I survived, but lost the use of my legs; lost my family, and everything else. Now I’m alone, bankrupt, and physically incapacitated.
Is it possible to contently praise the Lord when our conditions are displeasing? Paul says, “Yes!”
It is a great mystery, but true contentment is not about maintaining a positive environment. It is also more than maintaining a positive attitude. Contentment, or “joy” is a GIFT from the L_rd, which transcends your particular situation and attaches itself to the never-changing character of G_d.
Paul says he “learned it”. He endured both abundance & hardships, and G_d proved faithful through both! G_d was faithful to deliver Paul from prison, and He was faithful when Paul was thrown into prison. G_d is always faithful. And there is peace in knowing that.
Here is another thing we know: Whenever Paul suffered, people believed in Yeshua! They would ask, “Why else would Paul volunteer to suffer, unless he KNEW Yeshua was Messiah?” Paul’s message is different from the “prosperity” gospel of today. Paul’s sounds more like a “disparity” gospel! Yet, Paul was an effective evangelist, nonetheless.
If Paul learned contentment by experiencing G_d’s faithfulness, he perpetuated contentment by continuing to heed G_d’s call. The secret to contentment is to trust & obey the L_rd through all circumstances. We must learn to trust He will never leave or forsake us, even if following Him leads us through hard times, or even martyrdom.
It is good to entrust Yeshua with our “souls”. But how well do we trust Him with our lives?
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Monday, October 14, 2013