Tag Archives: stress

Be Content: Philippians 4:12

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I find this image to be a picture of contentment, which is probably why I love it.  It has great elements: friends, a favorite pet, a favorite hot beverage all in a relaxing setting.  Wouldn’t it be great if life was served up to us like this on a daily basis?

I find it hard to be content when I’m always on the go, busy with this and that, or striving for material things that never seem to completely satisfy. Apostle Paul’s addresses the subject of contentment in his letter to the Philippians.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

According to Pastor Matt Chandler, contentment is something we must learn.  It does not come naturally.  We can learn contentment from staying connected to the source of truth (scripture), by remembering God’s past provision, and by being grateful for things we already have.

Contentment isn’t a path to complacency, rather, it involves actively striving to be a f.r.o.g (someone who Fully Relies On God).

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Change

Change, I don’t like it much.  As stressful as the status quo may be, change could make it worse.  Change always brings even more stress along with it.  I’m not about to say that I have no use for change, however.

There has been times in my life when change is temporary and planned.  I welcome those changes such as a vacation, the change of seasons, or retreating to a special place or activity.

When change is permanent, however, it becomes the enemy of the status quo and people like me who want to control every aspect of their lives.  “Why can’t I just go back to the way things were?”

I recently was tasked with trying to help a loved one cope with a life altering change in her life.  One day she was living independently, surrounded by an accumulation of belongings, content to be visited by a few faithful friends.  Now, after a two week hospital stay she has transitioned to a nursing home, uncertain if this is a temporary or permanent change.

In an effort to prepare her for the worst case scenario, I tried to use reason to communicate to her.  Examples of marriage, childbirth, and the death of a spouse came to mind.  Each event suddenly altered life and you couldn’t go back. This could be one of those times.

The uncertainty of change of this magnitude causes one to reorder priorities. Things we weren’t motivated to do before become necessary or even vital. Cherished possessions become a meaningless burden.  We seek to bargain our way back to the status quo.

Christians are given a grappling hook the moment they enter a personal relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ.  We can attach ourselves to someone greater, stronger, mightier, and more merciful than ourselves, our situation, or our fate.  Maybe that’s why the song, “Trust in You,” by Lauren Daigle resonates so well with my heart in moments like this one.

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“Trust In You”

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side 

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!