I have a secret.
Yep, I do!
Lean in closer and I’ll tell you.
It is kinda something to do with ‘Black Friday’, but not just that!
Have I got your attention now?
Want to know what the secret is?
The apostle Paul call it ‘the secret of contentment’.
It is a secret, something you have to discover for yourself, not necessarily something you are taught. For Paul he learnt it through hardship, through being in want, through being in need of everyday practical things. He learnt that actually he could live without certain things.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 all this through him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:11-13
Sometimes our need is all we see; it is screaming at us; we cann’t see or think past it. It takes discipline, it takes making a hard decision to lift our eyes off the need onto the glorious riches which are in Christ and to give thanks, which is declaring God is good, God is in control and God will provide enough and more to sustain me through this need.
So as I was reading and pondering on these verses this morning, it is Black Friday and I thought of all those queuing up at shops to grab a bargain or two or those trawling the internet doing on-line shopping and thought, really what do I need? Am I content? Have I learnt the secret? What is the secret?
The secret I think lies in trust. Trust that actually God will supply all my needs, not necessarily all my wants or all my longings and not necessarily all at once or immediately, but what He will do is provide me with the grace I need to wait, the grace to feel the want, the grace to long for and not yet-receive my heart’s desire. It is to trust that God is sovereign and He is able to provide whatever help, deliverance or thing it is that I need. It is placing my trust in God’s ways and God’s timings.
It is also to be content, to be thankful for all that He has already provided, to be grateful and not to be looking longingly at the next shiny thing, but happy with where God has placed me and the circumstance He has placed me in. It is to hold the things of this world loosely so that I am not too upset if I don’t have them or if they are taken away from me.
So today, join with me in asking and pondering – what are my priorities; where is my heart; what am I placing my trust on? I pray that you too will learn this secret of contentment. And if you have learned this secret, then don’t hide it -make it known. [Hide is the Word prompt on today’s #Five Minute Friday group.