Are You Content In Your Circumstances?

I am fortunate to have been a Christian for over fifty years.  Experience can be a very profitable teacher.  We have all heard of people going through trying times.  I know an individual who had a heart attack and by-pass surgery a few years ago.  He later developed prostate cancer. It was treated with radiation and in remission for about ten years.  For the past three years it is no longer in remission and growing.  In addition, he had two more heart attacks. He was not expected to live and had another by-pass surgery.  In March 2009 his home’s value had decreased by 60%, his investments by 40% and his business by 30%. Many of his friends lost even more.  As the Apostle Paul shares in Philippians 4:10 – 12 you can be content in every circumstance.  It may not be enjoyable but I agree with Scripture, we can become content in all things no matter how bad they appear.

I consult with many people regularly and they share that they are having many sleepless nights over relationships, finances, health problems or jobs.  For those of you facing these difficulties I hope to share what I have learned through my and others experiences.

The first thing I have learned and believe is God is in control of everything.  I know whatever I am going through God has allowed it to happen.  Why did He allow it if He really loves me?  It is because of His love for me that He allowed it to happen for He knows what I needed to learn.

My own health problems have taught me how to better take care of myself.  The Jews had a Temple to worship in and it was destroyed.   Christ came that our bodies could become a temple that God’s Spirit could reside in.  In the Jewish Temple only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year to approach God.  We can approach Him every second since within us is the temple that houses the Holy Spirit.

Once we accept Christ as our Savior and our bodies become the temple, I believe we are to treat it as God’s property.  If you were given property that you believed belonged to God, how would you treat it?  I have learned to take better care of my body by what I put into it, through exercise and by what I read and listen to.  My faith, my beliefs, feelings and emotions, my attitude and how I think affect my body spiritually and physically.  In what kind of a body or temple are we allowing the Holy Spirit to live?

What made it acceptable and allowed me to be content as I see many clients and my own net worth dwindle, was knowing that all of it was God’s in the first place.  It was never really ours.  Try as I might to be a good steward there are things that occur that cannot be controlled.  Probably the value of my home, my investments and my own business was tremendously overvalued. Prior to the recession, one’s belief was you can have had anything you wanted on credit and people did.  In four years the value of our home had doubled.  As most values became over-inflated and the recession hit, many lost their homes, businesses and other values. I and many others are now back to where we were financially eight years ago.  Did any of us learn a lesson similar to those who lived through the 1930’s depression?  Many of us now live more frugally and more carefully in what we purchase because we have accepted being more content with what we have.  Some of us have placed more emphasis on our giving, savings and investing as a result of our experiences.

Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Put God first and focus on Christ.  Get your mind off how bad things are and think of how much better the future will be.  Be continually reminded that the Holy Spirit is with us to guide us through each experience. God will not allow us to have more than we can handle.  Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  God has a plan for our present future and maybe in the real future, He is preparing us for heaven.  Trust Him and stay content through it all!

When a person has a health problem maybe God wants them to take better care of their bodies in the future.  If you have financial problems maybe you haven’t been a good steward of what He has allowed you to have.  If it’s a relationship problem maybe He is teaching you to be more tactful or how to kindly react to others.  If you are having a job problem maybe you need to look at who or what is causing the problem.  It may be that God has something better for you or you are the one causing the problem.  Anytime you find yourself in a difficult situation always ask God what He wants you to learn from that situation.   He doesn’t allow bad things to happen to punish you only to make you better for the future.

Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

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