By Andrea Merrell
I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
Philippians 4:11 NKJV
“How are you?” I asked my friend.“Not so hot,” she answered, then proceeded to tell me all the negative things going on in her life.
The next time I saw her—about a year later—I knew she had
landed her dream job and had recently gotten engaged. So I said, “Well, you
look great. How’s life treating you these days?”
I got the same reply as before: “Not so hot.” Then I heard the same negative laundry list from our previous visit.
In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes, “People tend to think their circumstances determine the quality of their lives. They feel happy when things are going well and sad or frustrated when things don’t turn out as they’d hoped.” In my friend’s case, she couldn’t—or wouldn’t—allow herself to be happy no matter what.
In spite of everything the apostle Paul faced, he said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." The Message says it this way:
I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess … I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Our well-being should never depend on our circumstances or emotions but on the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. Paul had the right perspective. He was content and full of joy. Paul found the recipe for happiness—in Christ. Let’s follow his example.