What we are on the inside, what we allow ourselves to think about, will eventually show in our words, actions, and even our countenance.
Luke 6:45 says “A good man brings things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Emphasis, mine)
Over the years I have heard the quote, “What you THINK about you BRING about.”
Our thoughts have more power over our lives then what we can imagine.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 “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.”
We must have an eternal perspective in our earthly circumstances. We have to gaze upward to God and count our blessings.
I came across a list in my journey towards contentment that I found challenging but rewarding. This is something I still work on DAILY. It was called:
The Perscription for Contentment:
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not even the weather.
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
- Never compare your lot with another’s.
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
- Never dwell on tomorrow – remember that our tomorrow is God’s, not ours.
When we allow our tomorrows to be nestled into God’s strong arms, we are FREE to live today.
Our contentment is not based on our circumstances, feelings, or even other people. True contentment is separate from our circumstances. Contentment is a state of the heart.
Paul recognized his source and strength for contentment was God himself.
Phillipians 4: 11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Emphasis, mine)
Contentment occurs when Christ’s strength is infused into our weak body, soul, and spirit. He infuses contentment into us through His Word. He seeps into our minds and transforms us.
Contentment is accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is GREATEST and He KNOWS BEST.
Psalm 16:5 “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”
Let’s use a cup analogy. God has lovingly assigned each of us to be a unique special cup. God fills our cup with our portion, what he determines is best. Our portion is our physical and emotional being, our abilities, our circumstances, our roles, and our relationships.
Sometimes we may not like what has been poured into our cup.
While the Lord Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane he said “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Christ knew the suffering he was about to endure. He grasped the handle of His cup and held it up to God and essentially said I accept my portion.
God has placed our portion in our cup. We have a CHOICE to make. We can choose to grasp our handled, hold it up to God and say, “I accept my portion” or we can refuse it saying, “It is not the right size, I don’t like the amount in my cup, I’ll control life myself.”
The choice is ours.
Contentment is accepting God’s sovereign control over all of life‘s circumstances.
God will infuse His power and strength into us daily. He is the blessed controller over all things.
We each have a choice about how we look at life. Let’s go back to Phillipians 4 for a moment.
Paul said he learned to be content IN whatever circumstance. God wants us to learn to be content IN our circumstances…. NOT when they improve.
We see TWO parts to this contentment. One part is ours and the other part is the Lords. In Phillipians 4:6 we see our part in the process.
Phillipians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Our part in the process of learning to be content is a heart choice. A choice to PRAY rather then WORRY. And not just pray, but pray with thanksgiving.
When we are confronted with negative circumstances, we have a CHOICE.
PRAY or WORRY.
Now let’s take a look at God’s part in our process.
Phillipians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If we choose to PRAY instead of WORRY we will experience God’s peace.
WOW! What a promise!
We can turn our hearts to the Lord and ask Him,
“Lord, what are you trying to teach me in THIS season of my life? What is something new I can discover about you in THIS time of transition. What is Your purpose for me right now.”
Proverbs 23:7 “As he thinketh in his heart, so is He.”
Our thought life, NOT our circumstances, determine whether we are content. We have to fix our minds on the positive. Like Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we have to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
Affirm this OUT LOUD:
Today I will:
- Choose to give my worries to God
- Choose to pray specifically
- Choose to be thankful
- Choose to dwell on the positive
Contentment is more of a shift in our attitude then a change in our circumstance.
Paul shifted his attitude by choosing not to be anxious and instead pray specifically with Thanksgiving. He chose to dwell on the positive even though his life was filled with negative. As a result he experienced the peace of God.
Cry out to the Lord in the midst of your circumstance. “God, don’t let my pain be wasted! Use it to conform me to Your Image. Use it to teach me and to grow me to be more like You.”
Remember my sweet sweet sisters, God is the Blessed Controller. So LET HIM BE! Surrender. Accept His timing. Accept His outcome. Let your trust be in Him alone.