DO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES CONTROL YOU?
"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
The changing circumstances of this world dictate to many people how they should feel and live. Christians are called to live differently. An internet search of "Characteristics of a good Christian" will get you a plethora of results, with much in common. The apostle, Paul summed up the values of a Christian this way. "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Gal. 5:22). Christians learn to live their lives based on a solid foundation that does not change. That foundation is the teachings of Jesus Christ. In that way, regardless of whatever happens in this world, it will not knock us off our solid foundation.
How sad it is when we encounter someone who seems to have their feelings upset with the bumps in their road of life. If only they had someone who would speak words of comfort to them. If only they could release the misery they so desperately cling to. How much distress they must experience wondering when the next disturbance will happen and from which direction will it come! If only they had a solid foundation to stand on! How much better their lives, and the whole world, would be if everyone lived their lives with more contentment.
What a difference there is in our lives when we learn how to live with: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control", regardless of our circumstances. Learning to be content, regardless of the circumstances in this world, is a Christian characteristic. We know that we can have that contentment because we believe in "Christ, who gives me strength". And, sometimes, the best thing to do to help others, who need to find Christ in their lives and cannot seem to hear the words you are speaking to them, is to pray for them.
Thank you for teaching us how to live with contentment in this ever-changing world. Help us, please, to continue to live as examples of Your strength in us. And, may we, by Your grace, continue to pray for all those who so desperately need You in their lives. Amen.
Christ Servant Minister