Overcoming Life's Ups and Downs
By Charles Stanley
Contentment is something we all desire yet too seldom have. If it comes, it usually seems short-lived. And often we think that contentment is possible only if all our circumstances are comfortable and there are no conflicts or misunderstandings in our relationships.
The apostle Paul proves that perfect conditions are not the source of contentment. He wrote his letter to the Philippians while he was in a Roman prison. Contentment was something he had to learn, not through comfort but through hardship and suffering. Paul relied on spiritual truths to enable him to face his difficulties God’s way—without complaint, worry, or fear.
In every trial, we have a choice to view the situation from our perspective or from God’s. Depending on our focus, we either react emotionally or respond spiritually, based on God’s Word and promises. Inner turmoil and outward agitation result when we focus on feelings instead of spiritual principles. But when we habitually see every matter from God’s point of view, then irritation, anger, and blame will be replaced by an inner quietness and confidence.
Is it really possible to face serious trials and have God’s peace? According to Paul, the answer is yes. We can be content in all circumstances through Christ’s strength (Phil. 4:13). This isn’t a natural response but a supernatural one, which God alone can produce in the lives of His children. If we’ll let divine truths interpret our trials and trust the Holy Spirit to empower us to respond in faith, our heart will find rest no matter what goes on around us.