What will make you truly content in life? Fill in the blank for yourself: 'If ________ , then I will be content.' To hold up these 'ifs' as the key to contentment is to live with false hope. The sinful human heart is never satisfied; today’s 'ifs,' even if fulfilled, are replaced by new 'ifs' tomorrow. And to live life under such 'ifs' is to live at the mercy of your circumstances. Life is a constant flow of change; what would make you content tomorrow can quickly be overshadowed by difficulty the next day. God wants you to understand that true contentment is unrelated to circumstances. Paul, imprisoned for his faith, learned this "secret of being content, whatever the circumstances." What is that secret? "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13) This Bible verse is often misused, but keep the context. Paul isn’t saying that there are no limitations to what you can do in life. He’s saying that nothing in life can limit your contentment when it is rooted not in your circumstances, but in your Savior. YOUR SAVIOR IS GREATER THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!
But what do we give more attention to – our circumstances, or our Savior? If it’s our circumstances, we’ll never find contentment. And here’s the great evil of our discontent: We so easily and arrogantly live the lie that God owes us better, that we’ve earned or deserve better circumstances than what we’re experiencing. The reality is that we will only be content if we understand and admit what God really owes us. We have sinned against God – often in this very matter of blaming Him for our circumstances – and we deserve nothing but His wrath and eternal punishment. But because of God’s great mercy, Jesus took our place and was punished for our sins, and we are made right with God. Now, instead of living AT the mercy of our circumstances, we get to live IN the mercy of our Savior, forgiven of our sins and bound for heaven. Greater than any circumstance in life is to know where you stand with God in life and in death and in eternity. All this is yours through faith in Jesus; He gives you strength for all life’s circumstances.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.