Learning the Secret of Contentment (Part 2)
Paul's encouragement to the Philippians is also our encouragement. Consider his afflictions and trials:
- I was beaten 5 times by the Jews with a whip
- 3 times I was beaten with rods
- Once I was stoned
- 3 times I was shipwrecked
- On many of my missionary journeys, I was in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, dangers from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from backstabbers.
- I have been in toil and hardship constantly
- I experienced many a sleepless night
- Often I was hungry and thirsty, without food or water
- Sometimes I was cold and exposed to the elements
- And apart from all these things, there was the daily pressure of my anxiety and deep concern for all the churches.
Paul was no stranger to life's roadblock, detours, potholes and dead-end streets. He knew what it was like to experience disappointment, disillusion, depression and defeat. He understood difficulties, sorrow, ridicule and betrayal. He knew pain, and suffering and unrelenting troubles. And yet, in the maturity of his faith, he was able to declare, "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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Paul did not have time to sit around and feel sorry for himself. He adjusted to his circumstance and worked in it. He refused to allow any situation regardless of how challenging it may have been, to deter him from his work.
When things are not going the way you want them to, what do you do? Do you complain about your situation and feel sorry for yourself? Do you blame others, or the system or God for your circumstance? Do you wonder what did you do to deserve your troubles or wonder why God is picking on you? Stop singing the blues; nobody wants to hear it. Ninety-nine percent of life is attitude. The kind of attitude Job had when he said, "Even though he slays me, yet will I trust him." The kind of attitude Paul had when he said, "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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." The kind of attitude the Canadian Terry Fox had after losing his leg to cancer. When asked, where do you go from here Terry? He said, "Well, I think I'll run a little bit." So with one leg and a prosthesis, he ran halfway across Canada until cancer took the other leg and spread to his lungs. Terry had learned the secret to being content whatever his circumstance. He made appropriate life adjustments and worked with it.
I recall a particular Thanksgiving service held at a church I use to pastor. People were rising to give thanks to God for so many things. Some thanked Him for being able to pay off mortgage notes, some thanked Him that there was no death or sickness in their home; some thanked Him for their jobs and good health. An elderly woman sitting in the back of the church stood up. She stated that things had not gone well for her during the year. Her son died, her health deteriorated, she could barely make ends meet on the little social security she was getting. She said, "But children, I thank God that it is as well with me as it is." You cannot beat that. It is the words of one who has learned how to be content in any circumstance.
To learn how to be content in any circumstance necessitates that you begin by making the decision to take life where you find it and work with it. Now, this is not easy. It is one of the most difficult tasks ever to be tackled by man; to be limited and restrained and yet, be content. It is something you have to painfully learn. It is a dilatory process. And it is not something that we can achieve on our own. Paul said, "With the Source, I can do all things." He drew his power and strength from a Source outside of himself.
It has been my discovery that living close to the Source takes the limits off of you. If you live close to the Source, the Source will strengthen and take care of the substance. If you take care of God's business, God will take care of you.
THE SECRET: Take life where you find it, whatever the circumstance, and work with it.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach which can be reviewed on her site. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, is expected to be available soon.
You are welcome to visit AMEN Ministries: Your Soul's Service Station for spiritual refreshing, soul edification, browse our newly expanded mini shopping mall or review our recommended books you may want to add to your personal library.
Blessings to all!
Let Go and Let God
As a child growing up, whenever I was worried about something, my mother use to always say, "Girl, don't worry about it. Just let go and let God."
Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 3
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Spiritual Spring Cleaning, Making Room for More
Do you ever get into those moods where you just can't stand to look at clutter anymore and start filling garbage bags? Maybe it's Spring Fever, but I have a deep desire for simplicity lately. Not just in my physical surroundings, but emotionally, professionally, and spiritually too -- I have been "purging" the unnecessary from my life.
Thou Shalt Not Judge
Judgement; What does this mean? The encyclopedia definition is, "The process of forming an opinion by discerning and comparing". The bible says, "Judge not, lest you be judged", and, "How many times as christians, do we do this?" Are we not to,"judge the sinners?" No, that is not our responsibility. Remember, what Jesus said, " I have not come to judge, but to save those that are lost". Jesus, the great I AM, did not come here to judge us by what we looked like. He, came here to save us from sin. So how, "If the great I AM accepts us, can we not do the same for others?"
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Jesus Who Gives Me Strength
"...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 11b - 13, NIV.
The A To Z I Beheld
I beheld the sky and its wonders and saw Astonishment
What Is The Universal Subconscious?
There are many different and interchangeable terms that are used to describe the Universal Subconscious mind. But whatever term you use, metaphysicians and scientists agree that our Universe is a field of vibrating energy. Things that are denser operate at a lower frequency, and then there are also finer forms, such as thoughts and emotions, which operate at a much higher frequency. All of these things make up a collective Universal consciousness that we all share.
In life, sooner or later, we come to the midnight hour. The hour comes when all is black, when myriad shapes seem to haunt our paths, when the very blackness appalls and our hearts cry out in utter despair. We fear the night and we dread what the day may bring forth.
The Psychical Research Foundation
Karen was the name of the reception person, who sat behind the desk one Saturday morning around noon when I dropped in. I had never heard about them and was actually planning to find the J.B. Rhine Institute or the Federation for Research on the Nature of Man (FRNM). I had stumbled in to the 'mother lode'. It wasn't necessary to come to these places to look for their literature or research. I could have found more than enough of that at the Association for Research and Enlightenment library in Va. Beach. I wanted to experience these things first hand.
Candle Burning to Petition the Female Saints
Here they are, our Ladies of Mercy and Divine Benevolence. Petitioning the Saints for Special Favours has been a big subject in the chat rooms lately, so in the spirit of Christmas and the Goddess energies associated with these martyrs and popularized pagan deities, I have compiled a list that tells you how to use candle burning to request favours.
Zen and Peace (The Road To Lasting Harmony)
Presently, many of us live in uncertainty. Due to the world situation and the many changes in society, there is a sense that at any time, our lives may be disrupted. Rather than allow this to cause anxiety, it can be viewed as a wonderful teacher coming to wake us up. This insecurity causes us seek another way of finding peace, one that is not based upon external conditions but that comes from within. No matter what is going on in our lives, it is possible to live from another vantage point, to connect with a basic experience of peace and well-being that constitutes the ground of our lives, but is often just out of awareness.
Enough Warm-ups, Already!
Among those arriving to the stadium early were two old timers: a husband and wife who always attended these events, and who were former runners themselves. In fact, they were world-class champions whose races were the stuff of legends. They could recount, if they chose to do so, tales of close races, humiliating defeats, and former glory.
Trust Jesus (and Stress and Fear will Disappear)
Everything was going wrong.
Tarot Spreads: The Planetary Spread, for Insights into a Personality
The Planetary Spread is an excellent layout to use when you want insight into a personality.
Terminal Diagnosis and Putting Our House in Order
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD... 2 Kings 20:1-3a (NIV).
The Spiritually Dead Church
The spiritually dead church. Now, I am not talking about every church. There are alot of good churches out there. I am talking about, the churches who have christians, that gather only for the sole purpose to gossip, gather at social meetings, and feel important.
Do People See Visions Anymore?
Unless God has changed the way he does things it would seem that he has kept the lines open to men and women as usual. Should there be any doubt let me tell you a true story of a sequence of events in my own life. No one had more trouble believing these events than me; in fact I wouldn't tell even my closest friends for over a year. Now I think so very differently.
Experiences With Angels
All of my life I had heard, read and sang about angels, not really giving a lot of thought to or about them. Just before my mother passed away in August of 1984 she told me of her wonderful experience of a visit from an angel. After talking with Mom there was no doubt in either of our minds that this was a real experience, Mom passed away shortly after that.
The Gnostics and Essenes
THE GNOSTICS, ESSENES AND THE 'OCCULT':
Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 7
Matthew 2:19-23 The Return to Nazareth
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