I have been rich and I have been poor. I have been well-fed and I have been hungry. And I am learning the secret of being content in any situation.
Many of my friends have and continue to experience severe financial loss in the current economic climate. Stock market woes…Investment values plummeting…Retirement funds disappearing. Even without job loss, this downhill slide and the ever-growing uncertainty and instability of our society can really be frightening. Coupled with job loss, this climate can be devastating…but it doesn’t have to be.
In today’s scripture, the apostle Paul tells us that he has experienced both riches and poverty, but that he has reached a point where his joy and his well-being don’t depend on his job security, bank account, or any of his external circumstances. No matter what he is going through, he knows that God will give him the strength to make it through. His peace comes from his internal circumstances with God.
God has and will continue to do the same for you.
As human beings, we all have a tendency to place our confidence in things we can see or control around us. Looking at a solid report on our investments…seeing kids doing well…enjoying our status at work, church or in community can give us a feeling of security. But it’s based on what is happening all around us. We are being reminded all too clearly that these things are not secure, that they can disappear in a moment.
Today, when peace seems distant, stop and assess whether your search for peace is based on your external circumstances or on your internal relationship with God, and faith in His promises, character, and instructions. No matter what your circumstances, remember that Jesus is with you and will give you the strength you need. As you lean on, trust in, and obey Him, He will make a way. Really, what other options can you turn to that have the power, character, and track record of the all powerful Creator of all things?
Dear God, help me remember that even if all my financial situations fail, my marriage struggles, my health gives out, or my kids falter…You haven’t changed. I know that Your love for me will never change, and that with You I can make it…no matter what. Thank You, Father. All glory to You, my Lord. I pray this in the name of the One You sent to secure my place in eternity, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
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.
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”