“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, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” — Philippians 4:12-13
When we hear a cow moo, we think about meat and milk. Beef is big business and milk provides vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy and happy. Beef and dairy farmers work diligently to keep cows and bulls watered and fed 365 days a year. It’s not easy for farmers to take vacations because cows require a lot of maintenance, or sometimes push over sturdy fences and wander off for greener grass.
We might think cows are silly for straying since they already enjoy fresh water and plentiful grass in the summer, and good grain and hay in the winter, but we often do the same. Our minds imagine a better situation. Why would we do so when we are well fed and have a place to live? We start whining even though we do not have a good reason to complain.
The Bible tells us not to expect a perfect community. Instead, the Lord wants us to learn to thrive wherever we are and to make the best of the situation. As Paul was writing, his life was not easy but he counted his blessings. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).
When Paul started following Jesus, his life got harder — but he was happier because he rejoiced in Christ daily, even during difficult times. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Can you say the same? Can you be content in any and every situation?
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania Georgia
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