Christian Living

Family Matters 10/06/11

Finding the Secret to Contentment

The subtitle of my latest book, Letting Go of Worry, reads “God’s plan for finding peace and contentment”. You may be asking yourself: how is peace possible in today’s worrisome world?  

Consider the apostle Paul. He sat under house arrest because of corrupt officials who made false charges against him. He knew too well what might be ahead of him. He had endured afflictions and suffered numerous hardships. He had been beaten, imprisoned, stoned, threatened with death, shipwrecked three times, experienced sleeplessness and hunger, and was in danger from robbers, rivers, seas, his Jewish countrymen, Gentiles, wildernesses, and false brothers.  All of this would be enough to create worry and anxiety in anyone.

Yet, Paul was content and not consumed with worry. He even slept through the night before facing possible death the next day. Paul’s experiences through all of his trials taught him that the times and seasons are controlled by God. He believed that God ordered everything for His purposes and was working all things for His good (Romans 8:28).

Paul’s contentment was rooted in his faith. The deep joy he felt while in jail came through the relationship with God and His goodness in all that happened. Paul’s union with Christ, God in Him and with Him, was his secret to being content.

Paul could rejoice in trials not because he had some twisted need to suffer. God strengthened him to persevere during difficulty and thrive during abundance. He came to understand that contentment is learned through a relationship with God, not through circumstances. He didn’t have to worry because he knew God would supply all of his needs. That is why he tells us that he could be content with much or little (Philippians 4:11) — a striking contrast to present-day thought.

Do you want to be content in all things?

Then, trust God for your current situation and all that may follow. Live in the moment knowing that each one is in God’s hands. Nothing gets past His watchful eye.

Contentment requires a belief that God causes all things to work for our good. He sees the complete picture of our lives. Eyes focused on God prevent us from being thrown around by life’s circumstances. When this is the case, worry cannot take hold and we are content knowing God is with us.

*Excepted and adapted from Letting Go of Worry by Dr. Linda Mintle in stores now and online. For more information and help regarding worry and contentment, visit www.drlindahelps.com.

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