Last week in an incredibly inspiring message Luis Chavez gave his testimony of how God used a terrible car accident to do some amazing things in his life. Though I’m not sure if he said it specifically, he at the very least eluded to learning to live in a state of contentedness. This is of the utmost importance! Paul wrote of it in Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT) “ …for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 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. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”.
Learning to live in this state of contentedness is possible for us all. I loved Luis’ story because it is such a pointed example of that truth. Almost everyone can see how they should be able to be content in their own story in contrast to his. However, that is not why we should learn to be content, nor how we learn to do so. Verse 13 of the scripture above gives us those answers. It is through Christ who strengthens us that we can be content. No matter what we have to go through, and everyone’s personal struggles are big ones to them, the strength of the one who has overcome the world, living in us makes us more than conquerors. With that inner strength (when relied upon) we can be content because we know we have all we need.
One of the scriptures Luis also referenced was Psalm 118:24 which says This is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it. This scripture is key to living in contentedness in all situations. An important thing to recognize about this verse is that it is more of a decisive statement than anything else. What do I mean by that? Let me say it this way. This verse is about us deciding what kind of mindset we WILL have about our day and why. It is about us telling ourselves what to think about the day we are having or are about to have. The enemy would like us to see all of the reasons (and they will be plausible arguments) for why we should be hurt, angry, disgruntled, frustrated, unhappy, etc. about the events (some realized…some projected) of any given day. He knows that if he can get us distracted from the truth and thinking in that direction we will begin to grumble and the state of contentedness will be afar off…too far to travel…an insurmountable distance, a place only people with perfectly easy lives get to reside.
Instead of that, what if we follow the instruction of this scripture? We can choose to recognize that our God and King has had a mighty hand in the day we are experiencing, He in fact has made it. I’m not saying God caused the trouble of the day…He didn’t cause Luis to be in an auto accident…but He does intend to use the trouble of our day to make us better and to show Himself powerful! Additionally, this scripture gives us an instruction that is invaluable in attaining contentedness. “…We WILL rejoice and be glad in it!”. The word WILL implies that a decision is being made, and the fact that no caveats are noted indicates that decision should not be affected by the circumstances. We WILL rejoice and be glad in the good days and the rotten ones. Good, bad, ugly or otherwise…we WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Why? Because this is the day the Lord has made…and that means it is under His control, anything that happens during this day (or any day) can and will be turned for our ultimate good. James speaks to this in the first chapter of his letter, and is why he suggests we can take joy in our trials.
Wouldn’t you like to live in the state of contentedness? God wants you to live there. It’s not just for people with perfectly easy lives…those people don’t exist anywhere! The road to contentedness isn’t hard to find, you only have to determine…you WILL…be glad and rejoice in it!