I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”Philippians 4:12
Compared to much of the rest of the world, we live in a place and time characterized by great abundance, but also by a lack of contentment. The late jazz composer and musician Duke Ellington seems to have described our culture: “My attitude is to never be satisfied, never enough; never.” But if we display contentment and trust God in our trials, setbacks, and pain, rather that feeling sorry for ourselves, those around us can witness a miracle.
Joni Eareckson Tada shares this truth from the life of Paul: “Could God have caused Paul’s chains to drop off and open the prison doors and allow him to walk free? Who can doubt it? He did it for Paul and Silas in Philippi—with a great earthquake! He did it (twice) for the apostle Peter. But was it any less of a miracle to meet Paul in that dungeon and give him supernatural contentment in that place?”(2010).
When we find contentment like that in our trials, the source of our contentment—Jesus Christ—is evident, and the supernatural peace He gives communicates His greatness.
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” (Corrie ten Boom, 1892-1983)