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Learning to Be Content

May 28, 2017

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Learning to Be Content

Years ago  in college,  I’d often visit  with a fellow student  who was very lax  about showing up  for class.     He had faced many,  very tough situations  in life  and was having  a rough time  straightening out.     When he did make it to class,  he obviously needed  a cleaner tee shirt  and a shave.     But,  come every test time,  he was clean shaven,  in a nice suit,  and even early for class.     I just had to ask him  about that habit.     His reply?     “I just hope Dr. _______  will notice  my effort  and have mercy.”

Kind Dr. _______  knew his best lesson was  to repeat  the class.

We will always have lessons  in life  that need  to be learned.     The things we have to learn  are things  that do not come naturally.     Things like readin’,  writin’,  and ‘rithmetic  take years  of study.     Things like faith,  love,  and contentment  can also take years  of learning  because they do not come naturally  to our sinful natures.     Our Lord’s mercy  and love  will make us repeat  His lessons  until they are learned.      Are we willing learners?

St. Paul spoke  of some “lessons” he learned  over the years.     In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul said,  “I have learned  to be content  in whatever circumstances  I am.      I know  how to get along  with humble means,  and I also know  how to live  in prosperity.     In any  and every circumstance  I have learned the secret  of being filled  and going hungry,  both of having abundance  and suffering need.     I can do all things  through Him  who strengthens me.”

Note how Paul keeps stressing  his learning process.     Paul is not just whistling  in the wind  when he talks  about learning contentment.     If we read 2 Corinthians 11:18-33,  we find out  a bit  about his imprisonments,  beatings,  labors  and endangerments.     He went through  a whole lot more  than any of us have.     Through it all,  he learned contentment.

Paul learned contentment  in prison  realizing God’s grace  as  with him.     He learned contentment  in a shipwreck  because God was there,  too.     Paul could even  be content  as he dealt  with false Christians  because he learned  that our Lord was present.     When hungry  and without resources,  Paul was content  knowing God would carry him through.

With all these learning experiences  flooding his heart  and mind,  Paul shares his knowledge  and faith  with Timothy  by saying,  “Godliness actually is  a means of great gain  when accompanied  by contentment.      For we have brought nothing  into the world,  so we cannot  take anything out  of it either.     If we have food  and covering,  with these  we shall be content.”    (1Timothy 6:6-8)

Hebrews 13:5-6 quotes some  of God’s Old Testament promises.     It says,  “Make sure  that your character  is free  from the love  of money,  being content  with what you have;  for He Himself has said,  “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU,  NOR WILL I EVER  FORSAKE YOU,”   so that we confidently say,  “THE LORD  IS MY HELPER,  I WILL NOT  BE AFRAID.     WHAT WILL MAN  DO TO ME?”

Learning contentment is  easier said  than done.     We cannot learn  without attending  God’s classroom.     Our textbook is  the Bible.     There our Teacher speaks  to us  on a personal level.     Our assignment is  to trust God  and be content  in every testy situation.     Our Teacher  will allow us  to experience  all sorts  of trials  and stand in awe  at how He gets us  through all  of them.

When we realize  that we can trust  our Teacher  because He is  our Savior,  we will have learned  to be content  in His loving arms.

Class won’t be over  until we reach  our heavenly goal.     Our graduation cap  will be  a golden crown  —  1 Peter 5:4   “You will receive t he unfading crown  of glory.”

Our graduation gown  will be the white robe  of Christ’s righteousness  —  Revelation 7:14   “These are the ones  who come out  of the great tribulation,  and they have washed  their robes  and made them white  in the blood  of the Lamb.”

Our diploma  will be our names written  in the book  of life  —  Revelation 3:5,   “I will not erase his name  from the book  of life.”

Graduation  will be wonderful.     Contentment  is a relief,  as we say,  “Hallelujah!”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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