“I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 can do all things through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-12a, 13
God never promised a safe, easy, and “comfortable” life. To go where God is asking us to go, to share what God is asking us to share and to send who or what God is asking us to send, often requires a step of faith, risk, or sacrifice. A life pursuing God will always be at odds with our desire to live a comfortable life. Why? Because pursuing God is about His will and pursuing my own comfort is about my will.
Now, don’t get me wrong – a life of security, peace of mind, and well-being are not inherently wrong. But we need to examine our focus. The apostle Paul puts it this way: “Instead of pursuing comfort, security, and peace of mind above all else, I’ve learned to pursue contentment.” (My paraphrase)
For Paul, it wasn’t about what he had, but who he knew: And that person was Jesus Christ. Paul is saying that after meeting Jesus, his life shifted its focus. It used to be all about comfort and struggling with feeling unsatisfied as circumstances constantly fluctuated. But now, he’s pursuing contentment and finding true satisfaction in the process. How does he do this? By looking at the One who never changes and has provided what he needed the most: a right relationship with God.
In other words, God helps us find contentment by focusing on who He is rather than what we have. In doing so, Paul demonstrates how spiritual health and joy go hand in hand with contentment.
If you’re struggling to find satisfaction and contentment in your present circumstances, take a look at what you’re focusing on. Is it the never-ending struggle to achieve the “safe, predictable, comfortable” life? Or is it pursuing a life of faith, risk, and contentment, no matter what life may bring?
Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor, George Wright
Shandon Baptist Church, SC