[The second part of the secret is woven throughout Philippians; he continually gave thanks and rejoiced in whatever God brought into His life (Philippians 4:4-7).]
When we bring our burdens to God, He will carry them, and give us comfort and peace (See Matthew 11:28-30). I have personally experienced, heard and read endless testimonies of the power of praise changing us and our circumstances. One of my favorite testimonies is from a village in Pakistan. A church was destroyed by terrorists. The pastor immediately called his congregation together to worship, forgive the men who bombed their building, and give thanks to God. Some refused and were too bitter to participate in this time of prayer. However, most participated and as they did, their hearts were filled with hope and joy. Within that week, many Muslim villagers came to the pastor to learn of this Jesus that gave them a forgiving and thankful heart. They too wanted to experience this kind of God! When we engage in thanksgiving, there seems to be a supernatural anointing from God that comes over us and the situation we are experiencing, that not only lifts our spirit, but also brings about significant positive change.
Paul’s third secret of contentment relates to surrendering everything to God. Paul considered all personal riches, accomplishments, titles, and profits as rubbish compared to knowing Christ (See Philippians 3:7-11). He lived his life completely for the glory of God and not for his own personal gain. He knew that His true joy and satisfaction came from knowing the riches of the love of Christ. This is why he prayed for the believers in Ephesus to know the depth of God’s love so that they could be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
You will discover that utter surrender to God will bring you the greatest joy. The Lord knows what is best for us. He created us! He knows our DNA! He knows everything about us ─ in fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. We can trust Him with every detail of our lives. Jesus says that He came to give us an abundant and extraordinary life (See John 10:10). Surrender and trust may not always be easy, but ultimately, they will bring us to a place of contentment.
Today’s Bible Reading: Philippians 3, 4:11-13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
A Moment to reflect:
Can you think of a personal story where you experienced an attitude of thanksgiving literally change how you saw and responded to the circumstances around you? How did that impact others around you?
When you hear the phrase "surrender everything to God," what do you automatically think of? What are the areas of surrender the Lord is inviting you to grow in?
Now that you've read Paul's 3 secrets of contentment, what are some practical ways you can implement these thoughts and actions into your own life? Ask the Holy Spirit to deepen your dependence on Him to live these out.
By Sue Corl - an excerpt from For Such A Time As This: Walking Through Crisis
*A moment to reflect is added for this post.