When I read “my yoke is easy”, I ask the Lord, “How?”.
Life isn’t easy. Bad things happen to good people. Hurt people hurt people. Finances can change like the wind.
I’ve learned that being yoked with Christ doesn’t always change the realities of life but He changes how I deal with them, how I carry them.
I think that the apostle Paul knew about being yoked with Christ. One of the most remarkable statements he makes is in Phillipains 4:12:
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT
The Greek word used for content here is “autarkēs“, from the root word “arkeō” that means:
1) to be possessed of unfailing strength
a) to be strong, to suffice, to be enough
1) to defend, ward off
b) to be satisfied, to be contented
When I look at my level of contentment I wonder, how much of my discontentment stems from my feeling that I’m not enough? That thing that makes me feel like I continually need to do more, to be more, to have more, to alleviate this unspoken deficit?
How many times have you thought,” I’m just not strong enough”, “I just can’t do this”? Or worse, had that feeling of shame because you associate your circumstances with your worth?
Without Christ I know I am not enough, I know I am not strong, I don’t suffice and certainly do not possess unfailing strength.
But I am not without Christ.
He has embraced me with His grace and salvation. He has paid the price for my “not enough” and given me His “more than enough” to live in.
Contentment doesn’t have to.
Our bodies change.
God does not change.
When Paul wrote this when he was in prison. His contentment didn’t come from his surroundings.
Contentment is not an emotion to possess, a feeling to pursue, or a goal to aspire to. It is a fact of new life, a reflection of how God sees you, a reality paid for by the Cross. Paul discovered the “secret” because contentment is not an state of being based on changeable emotions but a state of knowing based on the unchangeable nature of God.
Without the cross, I am left on my own to make it through this life the best I can.
With the cross, I am with Christ.
Yoked and yielded.
Connected and content.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT
How different will your life be as you began to walk in the truth that in Christ you are enough?
What does your life look like when your contentment becomes unchangeable even as the world around you changes?