Contentment: No Matter the Circumstances

During a conversation I had this past week, I was complaining about the weather turning warm and not having my central air conditioning connected to the house. We are in the midst of an outdoor landscaping project and the unit needed to be disconnected. As the conversation progressed, I laughed at myself and said, “Wow, how soft I am! Imagine what I would complain about 75 years ago living on the prairie in a clapboard house with no central heating except a pot-bellied stove and certainly no central air conditioning! Here I am in the 21st century, living in a first-world country with all of the modern conveniences at my disposal and I’m complaining about a few weeks of hot weather.”

A few days later I was doing my devotional and ran across this verse from Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” As I contemplated these words, I realized that I have ever been in need of my basic physical needs (food, water, shelter). Despite this, I still struggle with contentment at times. The apostle Paul didn’t. He had learned that no matter his circumstances, good or bad, Christ centered his life and provided him with the peace that passes all understanding. Yes, even in my plenty I seem to be able to find something to cause discontent. 

Does this mean I don’t believe enough or my faith is weak? No, I don’t think so. I think this makes me human. I think it is an opportunity to remember that faith as small as a mustard seed with the right focus is enough to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). When I find myself discontented, complaining about the inconveniences of my plentiful life, and struggling with my own inabilities, I can turn to the truth of the gospel and focus on the one Truth that sets us all free, Christ.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Lord has provided some respite from the heat with some cooler forecasts! His mercies never cease!

Contributed by Liz Hunt

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