For I have learned in whatever situation to be content…in any and every circumstance.' (Philippians 4:11)
When Paul wrote those words, he was not sitting on a beach sipping a cocktail somewhere but in prison; yet he could still say, "I've learned how to be content."
The world's way of thinking teaches that the way to achieve peace and happiness in our life is to get out of difficult situations as quickly as possible and that the more possessions and status we have, the better.
On the flip side is the mentality of "simplicity living" which states that satisfaction comes from getting rid of stuff and living with less. Yet Paul said he had learned to be content in both plenty and hunger, abundance and need. While the bible does say not to make the pursuit of earthy goods our aim in life, a simpler lifestyle alone does not guarantee a contented and happy life.
Perhaps instead, we can seek to be balanced in our outlook and give ourselves time and space to reflect and pray more about what is really important to us and the life that Jesus is calling us to live.
Discontentment is our heart being dissatisfied – so what is it dissatisfied about? Are we focusing on the things Jesus wants us to focus on, living the lifestyle that He talks about in His word?
Are we being who He called us to be, giving and looking for ways to bless and help others, or are we only paying attention to ourselves?
I've discovered that Jesus will allow us to become uncomfortable and discontented as a catalyst for change, so it pays to listen and notice what is stirring in our hearts so we don't miss Jesus talking to us.
Jesus is the one Paul said had brought him contentment, and it was in discovering and being the man that Jesus had made him be that brought him peace. Paul found contentment and happiness in Jesus' presence and in knowing Him and focusing on what Jesus had for him to do and be in that time frame. That is why he could say I have learned to be content in all circumstances, for Jesus is the one who gives me strength and makes me who I am. (Philippians 4:10-13)
Today take a moment to schedule some time with Jesus to reflect and pray so that you can hear Him speaking to your heart. Remember, at times, Jesus does allow us to be discontented and uncomfortable as a catalyst for change. Is the discontentment you feel God orchestrated and is He trying to catch your attention so that you can find happiness and contentment in Him and his best plan for your life?
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-6)
"I will listen to what God the Lord says: he promises peace to his people." (Psalm 85:8)
Prayer: Lord, help me to hear you speaking to me, and that if I am feeling discontentment that I will not just brush these feelings aside but will stop, reflect and listen to what you are saying to me. Please help me find happiness and joy in knowing you and being and doing what you have called me to. In Jesus Name Amen.