Finding Contentment

Daily Devotional.
InTouch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Read | Proverbs 3:5-6

The Rewards of Wisdom
    1My son, do not forget my teaching,
         But let your heart keep my commandments;
    2For length of days and years of life
         And peace they will add to you.
    3Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
         Bind them around your neck,
         Write them on the tablet of your heart.
    4So you will find favor and good repute
         In the sight of God and man.
    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
         And
do not lean on your own understanding.
    
6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
         And He will
make your paths straight.
    7Do not be wise in your own eyes;
         Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
    8It will be healing to your body
         And refreshment to your bones.
    9Honor the LORD from your wealth
         And from the first of all your produce;
    10So your barns will be filled with plenty
         And your vats will overflow with new wine.
    11My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
         Or loathe His reproof,
    12For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
         Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
    13How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
         And the man who gains understanding.
    14For her profit is better than the profit of silver
         And her gain better than fine gold.
    15She is more precious than jewels;
         And nothing you desire compares with her.
    16Long life is in her right hand;
         In her left hand are riches and honor.
    17Her ways are pleasant ways
         And all her paths are peace.
    18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
         And happy are all who hold her fast.
    19The LORD by wisdom founded the earth,
         By understanding He established the heavens.
    20By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
         And the skies drip with dew.
    21My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
         Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
    22So they will be life to your soul
         And adornment to your neck.
    23Then you will walk in your way securely
         And your foot will not stumble.
    24When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
         When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
    25Do not be afraid of sudden fear
         Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
    26For the LORD will be your confidence
         And will keep your foot from being caught.
    27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
         When it is in your power to do it.
    28Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
         And tomorrow I will give it,”
         When you have it with you.
    29Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
         While he lives securely beside you.
    30Do not contend with a man without cause,
         If he has done you no harm.
    31Do not envy a man of violence
         And do not choose any of his ways.
    32For the devious are an abomination to the LORD;
         But He is intimate with the upright.
    33The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
         But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
    34Though He scoffs at the scoffers,
         Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
    35The wise will inherit honor,
         But fools display dishonor.

Too often we let our circumstances determine our attitude. If life is going smoothly, then we feel good about ourselves; when it gets hard, our mood drops. But we don’t have to live this way. Like the apostle Paul, we can learn and practice the secret of being content.

Contentment means accepting things the way they are—in other words, not wanting anything more or different. This requires developing an “I can through Christ” attitude. It means learning to bring God’s power into our weakness so we can accept and adapt to changing circumstances.
When we respond to life with that kind of thinking, we move beyond our feelings to living by faith (2 Cor. 5:7).

Submission and trust are needed for such a lifestyle. First, we must surrender our will to God’s: in every situation, we are to yield what we want and accept whatever He allows. Our desire to control events is replaced by reliance on Him. This option becomes more appealing when we realize that the alternative—fighting against our circumstances—brings anxiety and distress. The second step is to trust God to oversee our specific situation. If we believe He is working out His perfect plan for us, then we will experience the joy that comes from trusting Him. Contentment will be ours.

Paul submitted his life to God and trusted Him. He faced insults, rejection, and many difficult trials but was still content. When we surrender control to the Lord and believe He has our best interest at heart, we will experience contentment too. Who is in charge of your life?

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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