Series: It's All Good
Message: The Art of Contentment
Preacher: Dena King
Daily Walk: Dena King
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 115:1-8.
Read: Philippians 2:14-16 (NLT). As you read the New Living Translation, note 1–3 insights.
Reflect: While he was in prison Paul wrote the books (letters) of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. It is in this second letter to the church at Philippi that we are admonished to do everything “without complaining or arguing.”
Isn’t that incredible to think about? If ever there were an appropriate time to complain I would think that it would be while sitting in a prison without even the most basic of comforts and little else to think about except one’s own misery. It is in this place that Paul writes about how we, as followers of Christ, should lead lives free of complaining and arguing. He later writes that he has learned how to be content in all circumstances. The words of Paul carry a lot of weight given his situation.
We also know that Paul had an ugly past. Before he was converted, his name was Saul and he made a life of persecuting Christians. Although he sometimes refers to himself as the “chief of sinners” he does spend time wallowing in guilt or dwelling on his past. He says he is “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what lies ahead.” He uses himself as an example of God’s grace and goodness and looks forward to a reunion with Him.
We too, can find contentment in our present circumstances if we will look toward God, forgetting the ugliness in our pasts and acknowledging all the good He has done for us.
Recalibrate: Are there times when it is valid to complain and argue? Is it realistic to believe that a person with a difficult past can find contentment in Jesus alone?
Respond: Pray for the grace to “forget what is behind.”
Research: Read “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young, page 233 (August 10)