What You Can Do

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Are you living in contentment?

Paul says he has learned the secret of being content:

“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.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:12, 13 NIV

Easy to say, difficult to live, but NOT impossible to do.

YOU CAN do it.

Being discontent can become a way of life and a mindset that will sabotage your joy and peace at every turn. It drains your energy and distorts your vision.

It is NOT God’s will for your life.

Q. What is the secret to being content no matter what is happening in your life?

A. Looking to Jesus for strength. 

Because of Christ in you, you can do whatever is placed before you.

You can be content with:

where you are,
what you are doing,
with your body,
with your age,
with your job,
financially strapped or prosperous,
physically healthy or not,
in conflict or in peace.

YOU CAN do all this and more thru Christ who STRENGTHENS you.

By yourself, you can’t manufacture contentment. You think you need a miracle so you can get something you want. The bigger miracle is to be content with what you already have and trusting God to give you what you need.

There are a lot of things you can’t do right now but one can do is trust God to give you the strength you need for today.

Enough


I ask a lot of questions. 

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. 

Circumstances change.
Contentment doesn’t have to. 

Finances change.
Jobs change.
Our bodies change.
People change.
Life changes.
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? 

Your House 

  
In the old Testiment, God’s temple was a place to leave the world outside and enter into His presence.  A place to experience His love and mercy. A place to hear His Word and ask for His forgiveness. A place to get your priorities right and your perspective adjusted. A place to for Him to meet with you. It was a place where the sacrifice could be made so that His people could enter into His presence and more to point, that His presence could enter His people. 

In the New Testiment, Jesus became the sacrifice for sins and the Temple of God moved from a building to a heart…yours. A place to leave the world outside and enter into His presence.  A place to experience His love and mercy. A place to hear His Word and ask for His forgiveness. A place to get your priorities right and your perspective adjusted. A place to for God to meet with you. 

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God’s desire is to make your “house” His home. You may not know what to do with your heart but God does. Your mind may seem erratic but God knows how to calm it. Your emotions may seem out of control but God knows how get them organized.

If you give Jesus full access to remodel “your house”, He will make it into His home and you will find that you like living there too.

Being Content 

  
Being content with where you are and what you have, has nothing to do with where you are and what you have.

It is knowing that all things are not good but that God will use all things for your good.

It is knowing that your relationship with God does not depend on how you feel but in what Jesus did on the cross.

“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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13‬ NIV)

Being content is a choice, not a feeling. 

It is knowing that no matter what life hands you, Christ is in you and He will give you the strength to handle whatever life brings. 

  While You are Waiting, Work

  I wait for your salvation, Lord, and I follow your commands. (Psalm 119:166 NIV)

Wait in hope. 

Work in faith.

Wait in love. 

But don’t just wait. 

Wait for God to what only He can do and meanwhile do what you can do. 

Follow the direction He has already given you.

Be faithful to what He has already shown you. 

Be diligent to follow His commands, applying his Word to your life, putting into action the principles of it lays out. 

Waiting is not passive but an internal expectation while active obeying. 

Wait and work.

Your Thoughts

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I read a phrase last week on an eating disorder website that I think is true in all areas of life: “obsession breeds discontent”.

Why? Because rarely do we obsess about what we possess but we obsess about what we lack.

It begins with a thought.

A thought turns into a story.

A story becomes an identity.

An identity that directs an attitude.

An attitude that impacts your choices.

I don’t have…
I don’t look like…
I am not…
I will never have…
I will never look like…
I will never be…

But you can choose your thoughts. You can choose where they go and stop them in their tracks if needed.

What lays the foundation of your contentment or your discontent?

Your thoughts.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

(Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Be a rebel.
Break the cycle.
Choose truth.
Fill your mind with good thoughts.
Ask God to show you how.

How are you thoughts impacting your life?

You Can

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Are you living in contentment?

or

Are you living in misery, bemoaning something you don’t have?

Being discontent becomes a way of life and a mindset that will sabotage your joy and peace at every turn. It drains your energy and distorts your vision.

It is NOT God’s will for your life.

What is the secret to breaking the cycle and being content no matter what is happening in your life?

Paul says he has learned the secret of being content.

Easy to say and difficult to live but absolutely NOT impossible to obtain.

YOU CAN do it.

Paul said:

“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.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

(Philippians 4:12, 13 NIV)

There it is in black and white.

Because of Christ in you, you can.

You can be content with:

where you are,
what you are doing,
with your body,
with your age,
with your job,
financially strapped or prosperous,
physically healthy or not,
In conflict or in peace.

It is called life.

YOU CAN do all this thru Christ who STRENGTHENS you.

I know you feel overwhelmed with it.

By yourself, you can’t manufacture contentment. It is a miracle and you need a miracle.

You think you need a miracle so you can get something you want.

The bigger miracle is to be content with what you already have and trustGod to give you what you need.

With Christ pouring his strength in you, YOU CAN.