Happy When Head Is Pounding

9/11/2007

It's amazing what you learn when you have a baby. I've learned that three consecutive hours of sleep is a beautiful thing. I've learned that babies have an extraordinary poop to body-size ratio. I've learned that getting a shower by lunchtime is considered a good day. I've learned that the concept of 'free time' is tossed out the window. I've learned that I desperately need God's power to serve my wife and baby when I have a pounding headache and I'm running on fumes. Above all, I'm learning (not learned) the secret of contentment.

In Philippians 4:11-12 Paul says:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
Notice that Paul said he learned how to be content. He wasn't born with a temperament given to contentment, and he wasn't just an easy guy to please. No, the apostle Paul had to learn the secret of contentment. And how did he learn this secret? By walking through the blistering heat of trials.

Paul learned how to be content when he was brought low. The phrase 'brought low' is a colossal understatement. Paul was beaten to a pulp, stoned and left for dead, whipped until his back was a bloody mess, thrown into filthy prisons, went without eating until his stomach pulsed with pain, and was persecuted wherever he preached the gospel. If anybody knew pain and suffering, it was Paul. And it was in these trials, that Paul learned to be content.

The truth is, we can't learn the glorious secret of divine contentment apart from trials. Trials are the crucible in which contentment is formed. They press us into God and make us desperate for His grace. They strip away our self-sufficiency and cause us to draw near to God for strength. Trials are designed by God to form contentment within us.

What trial are you currently enduring? What area of your life are you tempted to be discontent? Are you in the midst of a difficult job situation? Are you constantly caring for a sick person? Are you barely making it financially? It's through these situations that God wants to teach you the glories of divine contentment.

Oh how sweet it would be to be content in every circumstance! Let's draw near to God today and ask Him to teach us contentment. Let's ask Him to teach us what it means to be peacefully content in every situation of our lives.

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Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 1:16 PM  

3 comments:

I cannot remember the number of times I have gone back to my mom and dad and said, "I didn't realize how much you did for me. Thank you."

What a humbling thing to know that our children as newborns are completely dependent upon us for everything. And that is the same humble dependance that we should have with our Father in heaven.

Ryan Rippee said...
September 11, 2007 at 3:34 PM  

How true that is. I owe my parents, big time...

September 11, 2007 at 6:11 PM  

wow. just the title is convicting.
thank you, stephen.

beth said...
September 12, 2007 at 12:52 AM  

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