Tuesday, July 25, 2006


The one who commented on the previous post made an important point. Can we honestly join with Job in saying, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him."? Job 13:15.

Paul said, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Phillipians 4:11, 12.

This reminds me of a book I recently read. Contentment is not the "American dream" fulfilled where "we claim solidarity with Paul from the easy chair of middle-class America. We profess to having learned the secret of contentment in all circumstances, yet we've never experienced (like Paul) forty lashes, stoning, shipwreck, hunger, thirst, homelessness, or imprisonment. Perhaps none of us should presume maturity until the truer tests have been endured. To snuggle up alongside Paul and profess contentment without having known want seems a bit impudent on our part. Paul's contentment in need and plenty is mostly of interest because of the need. Until we know true need and survive the test, we must not presume to be his companion." Richard A. Swenson from his book Margin.

So what is the secret of contentment Paul was writing about? We need to read the next verse. "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13. We don't know how we'll act or what our attitude will be in a time of testing. We pray we will always be content because we believe what God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we can say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5, 6. We don't have reason to fear. Whatever road we have to travel, Jesus goes with us. In fact, he's already been there. He knows the way and he will see us through.

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