Welcome to Living Contentment – your weekly nudge towards a life of Biblical contentment.
Here are today’s three contentment-related things for you to
read | do | pray
I’ve been sharing these weekly nudges toward Biblical contentment for almost three years now. I’ve been writing on, thinking about, and wrestling with contentment for years before that. However, this past Sunday I was giving the message at our service here, concluding our series on the book of Philippians, and the beauty, and simplicity, and difficulty of Biblical contentment hit me in a new way.
The passage I was assigned was the last half of the last chapter. This includes what (in my opinion) is the most direct, blatant, and powerful passage on true Biblical contentment, Philippians 4:10-13:
The beauty of it – is that it doesn’t depend on us – it’s Christ’s power working, in, through, and despite us.
The simplicity of it is – we can’t rely on our circumstances for our contentment.
The difficulty of it is – we can’t rely on our circumstances for our contentment.
What hit me however was the ‘even if’ nature of Paul here. Like Joseph when his brothers betray him, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were’nt scared by “what if this bad thing happens.”
Rather, they lived in the security of “I know God can save me….but EVEN IF he doesn’t – he is still God.”
What is the one big thing that you are dreading right now? That thing that if it happens, you have no idea how things will go on? That ruling that could sink your company, that diagnosis that will destroy your family, that decision that could ruin your career? That thing you would most fear if you put it in the phrase:
What if ______?
Now, take that same thing – whatever it is – and replace the what if with the words even if _____ God is still God.
Then drill down further and further again until you are left with nothing but the goodness of God
What if the doctor calls back and the test is positive?
Even if the doctor calls back an the test is positive – I’ll still be able to do my job, it will just be harder.
Even if I can’t still do my job – we can live off our savings for a while.
Even if we can’t live off savings – we have extended family who will help out.
Even if family can’t help – we still have each other.
Even if we don’t have each other – God is still God. He is still good. He is still in control
I think this helps us to see two things:
- that thing we’re scared of may not be as bad as we think
- no matter what happens, God is still God.
God, give me the faith of Job
realizing we came into this world with nothing,
we leave it with nothing,
and in the middle you sometimes give,
and take away.
Give me the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
knowing that you are powerful enough to save us,
BUT EVEN IF YOU DO NOT.
You are still God.
Talk to you next Thursday!