This week I am striving to cultivate contentment. I wanted to share this devotional from Our Daily Bread. It's so funny, the Lord has been speaking to me on being content and present in my day. I need to focus on what He wants me to do today and not focus on tomorrow or next week. When I went to church yesterday, that was the message topic. Then again this morning, I opened my devotional, and this was the reading for today.
Mary was widowed and facing serious health challenges when her daughter invited her to move into the new “granny apartment” attached to her home. Although it would involve leaving friends and the rest of her family many miles away, Mary rejoiced in God’s provision.
Six months into her new life, the initial joy and contentment threatened to slip away as she was tempted to grumble inwardly and doubt whether the move was really God’s perfect plan. She missed her Christian friends, and her new church was too far away to get to independently.
Are there areas of life where you need to learn contentment? Ask God to help you now.Then she read something that the great 19th-century preacher Charles Spurgeon had written. “Now contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and it must be cultivated,” he pointed out. “Paul says . . . ‘I have learned to be content,’ as if he didn't know how at one time.”
Mary concluded that if an ardent evangelist like Paul, confined to prison, abandoned by friends, and facing execution could learn contentment, then so could she.
“I realized that until I could learn this lesson, I wouldn’t enjoy those things God had planned,” she said. “So I confessed my inward grumbling and asked for His forgiveness. Soon after that a newly retired lady asked if I would be her prayer partner, and others offered me a ride to church. My needs for a ‘soul friend’ and greater mobility were wonderfully met.”
Are there areas of life where you need to learn contentment? Ask God to help you now.God doesn’t always change our circumstances, but He will change us.INSIGHT: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are generally known as the Prison Epistles. Philippians was likely written during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment in ad 59–61. This context makes Paul’s declaration of contentment all the more striking.
It's very clear to me that God is speaking to me about being content in my current circumstances. I know that he will take care of me, and that he has today and tomorrow in his hand. There are several points of application in this devotional. The first, we need to choose to be content. It is a choice and a learned behavior. Choosing to be content isn't always easy and it isn't first nature. I really liked Charles Spurgeon's quote in the devotional. Secondly, when we are present we can reach others. How easy it would have been for Marion's new church friends to ignore her needs to focus on their own? Being present opens up our eyes to the world around us. Lord help us to be aware of all that you would have us do today. Help us to be grateful for the things that will challenge us, bless us and draw us closer to you.
Have a blessed Monday!