Sunday, June 2, 2024

Contentment can be Difficult

Contentment can be Difficult 
by David Brenneman 

Being content can be difficult at times when our eyes lose sight of the prize.  

Paul exhorted the church in Corinth to be focused on the prize. The "Well done!" at the finish line. 

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win." 1 Corinthians 9:24.

When we are so distracted by what people have said about us or about those we care about than we are the contentment we can have...we lose sight of what's important and necessary. 

Peter was where I was reading this morning.

‭"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right." 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Many have fallen away from their walk with Jesus because of the cares of this world. People, obviously used of Satan, causing situations or instances.

We aren't going to give an account of our extra-curricular activities outside of what we have done in the body. Consider that. Think about it. What we have done in these mortal vessels for Christ is the ONLY thing that matters, the ONLY thing that has value. 

If you are letting other's opinions of you distract you, distress you, from being who the Spirit needs you to be...stop.

There is only ONE person's opinion that matters. That of your Shepherd, your Lord, and your Savior. Jesus Christ. 

Let the words of others roll off your back like water on a duck. 

Satan's is only limited by the decrees of Jesus Christ. Yes, difficult times will come. As Peter wrote, Paul has written, it's to train us in righteousness. 

Those in Christ are supposed to have difficult times. Jesus lived a perfect life and He had difficult times, why would you expect yours to be any different?

Contentment in Christ isn't what the world calls contentment. Contentment can look like suffering and it not be. When a runner finds their lane, finds their pace, finds their rhythm, they CAN have a look of pain or stress about them. When a person is on the floor during gymnastics the same can be said of them. They are focused on that routine knowing that there's a prize at the end for them if they do their best and give their all.

It may indeed take work, lots of work, to remove things from our lives that distract us from the race at hand. Painful work for some.  

It's painful getting rid of the things that tie us down. We probably enjoy some of those things. A person who's running a race to win sheds all that they can in order to give their best. 

When life was getting heavy, Jesus got away from everything and everyone to pray. This was where He found contentment. We don't need to keep up with the Jones's. We don't need to spend thousands of dollars to have extravagant vacations that aren't going to produce anything beneficial in our walk with Jesus. Rest and relaxation are necessary but with a purpose. 

We have a race to run. 
We have a prize to reach for. 

Our Savior is at the finish line waiting for us. Rooting for us. 

Draw strength from that when contentment takes on different forms than what the world says it should be like. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation. 

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