contentment or resignation?

“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”

Philippines 4:11

Don’t confuse contentment with complacency. God hasn’t invested His Son, His Spirit, His Word, His provision, His authority, His faith, His armor and the keys of His kingdom into you so that you could live a life of passive resignation.

True contentment is peace in the midst of any situation, but it is not the passive acceptance of every situation. Contentment is knowing the power of Christ is within you to overcome in every trial and fulfill God’s purpose for your life with joy.

Some passively resigned Christians accept poverty as God’s will and tell themselves that their fatalism is a virtue. Others learn to adjust to sickness, sadness and depression. Those who live by faith understand that God desires to do exceedingly abundantly more than they could ask or think according to the power that works in them! (Eph. 3:20)

By faith and patience we inherit God’s promises, not by fatalism and resignation.

Paul knew how to abase and how to abound (Phil. 4:12). However, Paul’s times of abasing weren’t met with fatalism and resignation. He had just written a few verses earlier that we should rejoice in the Lord always, and then followed by saying, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

Paul’s response to times of need was to go to the Lord with prayer and thanksgiving. His “contentment” was to “be anxious for nothing.” He wasn’t “doing nothing.” His faith saw his coming provision.

That is why Paul rejoiced for the Philippians whose sacrificial giving inspired him to say, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

True contentment gives thanks for the coming harvest, it doesn’t give up.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

copyright – Barry Bennett

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