“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:31- 1 Cor 11:1(NASB)
What circumstances do you find yourself in today? Regardless of what they are I want you to know that you can experience contentment and joy as you learn to live above life’s circumstances.
These days it seems that everyone has heartaches and trials. Some have lost jobs, and some have lost homes. Many who have jobs and homes experience internal strife in the form of fractured relationships. Life is not easy for anyone I know, and when the suffering is prolonged people tend to become discouraged and even experience feelings of depression.
I want you to know that as a Believer, you can rise above your circumstances and your feelings and live a joyful and content life. I am not just giving you happy words with no substance, Jesus would not do that and I will not either. Please understand that as you change your focus from self to God and His glory your entire outlook will change.
Take a moment and picture a heart that is focused on "self" and the thoughts, beliefs, and desires of the heart that might result from a self-focus. I would expect those thoughts would be depressive, self-defeating, selfish, negative, and perhaps even self-pitying.
Now I would ask you to picture another heart- this one with God and His glory in the center of it.
Thoughts from a heart that is focused on God and His glory would be something like: trust, confidence, faith, long suffering, patience, kindness, love, selfless and probably many more things. The actions that would result from these thoughts might look like: joy, peace, grace, mercy, patience, confidence… contentment.
You see, the heart that makes its goal the glorification of God is going to manifest these things, it is going to be able to rise above the circumstances and not focus on the circumstances of life. This woman will make it her goal to please Him.
There is of course no way we can do this on our own power- we must rely on God. We only need to have a willing heart, and God promises to equip us to do the rest!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil 4:13
This means you can be joyful, you can imitate Christ, you can move beyond the problem focus the world tries so hard to cause to overflow into your life. Just as Paul did, we can trust the promises of God, and we can do it in the power and strength of Christ. Like Paul, we can learn to rely on Christ’s promises.
“He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” Eph. 3:16.
The promise comes from Him, the strength and power to succeed come from Him, and all of this is for glory to go back to Him. Contentment flows out of this kind of heart out of these attitudes of the heart and the glory goes back to God.
Even in the midst of the trials and problems of these days we can find refuge for our souls- we can find the joy and peace we long for. We can and will find it in hearts that are satisfied in Him and Him alone.