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Learned Contentment

Daily Reading: Philippians 4

Scripture Focus: I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4.11)

Devotional Thought: Have you learned to be content? Are you satisfied with life? The Apostle Paul was. In spite of his numerous hardships - shipwrecks, persecutions, sicknesses, danger - it is obvious that Paul was content. How did he learn contentment?

Paul learned contentment by...

  • Choosing to rejoice in Jesus. Paul needed his friends' help. He was in prison and his only support was from people on the outside who would send him food and other forms of material aid. But, Paul was very clear that he was not angling for more money. He rejoiced in the Lord. Do you choose to rejoice in the Lord?

  • Practicing contentment over time. Paul commended the Philippians for reviving their concern for him. This means that there was a time when they were not able to show concern. To revive means to “bloom again” like perennial flowers blossom in the spring after lying dormant in the winter. Has your contentment waned? Does it need to be revived?

  • Expressing gratitude for friends. Paul was grateful for who the Philippians were to him - financially and emotionally. Yet, Paul wanted it to be clear that his relationship with the Philippians was not about what he could get out of them but was rather a higher level of friendship. He did not see himself as independent but as interdependent with the Philippians. Are you content in what you give as well as what you receive from your friends?

Learned contentment is a choice. We choose to be content just as we choose to do other things. Have you learned contentment?

Prayer: Lord, help me to learn to be content in you, over time, and through my friends. You have been so good to me, and I praise you! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalms 130:5-8)

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