Secret Of Personal Contentment at home

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Perhaps no other era in the history of America has known more unrest than our present era. So many people appear literally sick at heart and soul. People fear disease, poverty, social disbandment, disaster from the elements, invasions from foreign nations, invasions from outer space, big bombs, little bombs; families are torn asunder; children are in rebellion. It's no wonder that nervous tension has become more common than the common cold.

Drug companies are becoming wealthy selling pills to relax people. Yet, when these same people become relaxed, they often turn to "pep" pills to pull themselves back up so they can go to work next week. Thus, life becomes a real rat race between pill bottles and liquor bottles. In fact, dependence on drugs and alcohol constitutes one of our nation's major health problems.

There is no doubt about it, the intellectual climate of modern man presents a real paradox. The so-called miracles of modern science may have helped us live longer, and even more comfortably; but, science has not been able to help us live more contentedly and better.

Today there are millions of people suffering from severe mental depression. All of us have come to realize that suffering humanity is searching for a contentment which the world cannot give them through tranquilizers nor scientific technology. Mankind searches for a peace free of conflict, but where will they ever find it?

The great Apostle Paul knew the real secret of contentment. In Phillipians, 4:11-13, he clearly states his contentment and its source: "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

In this passage, Paul expresses a confidence that most people only wish they had. He said, no matter the circumstances around me, if they be terrible or good, I have learned to be, not self-sufficient, but Christsufficient! Paul knew that he could not be emotionally self-sufficient by an act of his own will. Instead, he said, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Have you ever wondered why people have so much difficulty finding contentment as Paul found it? I am certain that so many can't find it because they seek it in the abundance of worldly goods, which is the wrong place. Jesus said: "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions" (Luke 12:15).

While Christianity does not plead for rank poverty, it does plead for two things:

1. The realization that it is not in the power of the material things we own to bring real happiness.

2. It pleads for concentration upon the things which a person can take with them when they die.

You can find the true contentment which Paul found. If you would find it, you must understand these two things: First, you must recognize that contentment is found internally and should not be greatly affected by outward circumstances. Jesus said: "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25).

The second thing you must do is to make an honest self-appraisal and be willing to accept what you appraise yourself to be.

I am sure that such an honest appraisal will cause you to realize at least four things:

  1. Without God you are lost!
  2. Without God your life is meaningless and useless.
  3. You really have a desire to seek God and please him; when you frustrate this desire, your life becomes frustrated like a round peg forced into a square hole.
  4. Finally, when you realize that your life is at variance with God, if indeed it is, then you will know why you are so discontented.

Indeed, you can stand justified before God and find the secret of contentment, for Paul said: "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:1-2). Why should you cringe in fear and discontentment when by living God's way you can be free? Resolve now to discover the absolute will of God and then obey it.

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