Saturday, September 24, 2016

Context, Context, Context

I can do all things through Him 
who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Great verse.  Great motivator.  When it seems like you are in the midst of a storm, or at the base of a mountain, or at the edge of a canyon, this verse can give you the resolve to overcome.

But do you know that this verse is talking about contentment?

Hmmmm...really, Kristen?

Yep.  Want to know how I know?  I read the context. 

Paul is ending his letter to the church at Philippi, and he explains to them that he had..."learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Paul's ability to survive whatever circumstance he found himself in was grounded in contentment.  That contentment was accomplished through strength given to him from the Lord.  

So, yes, in storms or when you have a mountain in front of you or a canyon to cross, Jesus is the power source to accomplish anything, but is Jesus your power source to be content?  By definition, contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction.  Is Jesus your source of happiness (I like the word joy better) and satisfaction?  If the answer to that is yes, then why aren't you content?

We are a very discontented people:
  • we don't like our jobs and our co-workers
  • we don't like our homes and our communities
  • we don't like our hair color or our body shape
  • we don't like our spouse, for that matter
  • we don't like our options for president
  • we don't like the weather
  • we don't like our options in our closet
  • we don't like our options for dinner
  • and we can hardly tolerate what's on tv
In a world of unhappy and unsatisfied people, the child of God should stick out like a sore thumb - or should I say a content thumb.  We should be a light that points to true, deep joy and satisfaction, but if we are riding on the complaint train, no one will ever see the light within us.

So how do we turn this around?  How do we find contentment when life is hard?  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  The answer is clear - our contentment has to come from our relationship with Jesus:
  • He knows where you work
  • He knows where you live
  • He knows you inside and out
  • He knows your spouse better than you do
  • He knows where He is steering the world
  • He knows what what weather He sent your way today
  • He knows what's in your closet and your fridge
  • And I'm pretty sure He's not into tv either
All of these things are a part of life, but knowing the sovereign God of the universe should be what calms your heart.  He wants you to call Him Father.  He wants you to trust that He is intimately involved in your life.  And He wants you to stop whining and complaining and be content where you are, because your lack of contentment is evidence of your lack of trust in Him.  

You can survive the storm, the mountain and the canyon because you are fully known and fully loved.  You can get through another day at work and another day of marriage because you are held in the palm of your Savior's hand.  What could possibly make you more satisfied or joyful than Jesus? Has He not invested enough into you?  You have been completely restored and your future is secure in Christ, so run to Him, walk closely to Him and choose a life of gratitude and contentment because He personally is strengthening you.

Somehow this blog turned into a "Momma Wisen Talk" - sorry about that. It was not my intent.  Dear friend, may I encourage you that it is the things in life that we don't like that push us to our Lord. Why would He calm the winds if those very winds force you to cling to Him?  Rather than long for a life you don't have, find your contentment, find your joy and satisfaction in Jesus.  Then your circumstances will simply be opportunities for you to shine.


  1. "Why would He calm the winds if those very winds force you to cling to Him?" True that! :)