Contentment — Abased or Abounding
Let’s face it. There is no natural joy or lightness of heart that automatically comes with life’s stresses especially in matters of physical and financial needs. Nobody I know gets giddy at the thought of suddenly facing a medical bill that they cannot pay or having to explain to a child why they have to put cardboard in their shoes to cover the holes in the souls to keep wearing them until mama and daddy can earn enough money to buy them new ones. Or even more to hear that you have an illness for which there is no cure or an intense medical treatment that may or may not help to ease the pain.
None of these kinds of things bring us joy and peace. And God does not expect them to. Jesus is our High Priest Who can be touched by our infirmities because He was tempted (tested) in all points just as we are. [Hebrews 4:15]
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every wh
ere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:11-12
Though it may not come naturally we have a choice in the way we respond to life’s curves and stresses. We can choose contentment. And contentment is based on something we know, that is that our faith whether in want or in plenty is the pathway to perfection, which is contentment. To be content is to want for nothing.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4