True contentment is always marked by a lack of striving — a lack of grasping, a lack of demanding, a lack of insistence. True contentment lies not in having, but in knowing — of knowing that you are loved, accepted, forgiven, valued in spite of what you may or may not have in your hands or surrounding you.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley
“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 . . .”- Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
As Dr. Charles Stanley moves on in Chapter 4 of Can You Still Trust God?, he turns his focus to true contentment. Ironically, Dr. Stanley observes, in many cases the very thing people think brings contentment turns out to create more problems and turmoil for them.
Above all, Dr. Stanley points out, Christ strengthened the apostle Paul in all states in which he found himself. Dr. Stanley explains:
“[Christ] strengthened Paul when he was full, abounding, safe, and without pain or struggle. We often don’t think about this. Paul had no less need for Christ’s strength when times were good. In times of abounding, Paul needed Christ’s strength to keep him humble, keenly aware of others and generous toward them, thankful, energized, and an active witness of God’s power. When things are going well for us, we need Christ’s strength to keep us from pride, laziness, and self-sufficiency.”
In conclusion, Dr. Stanley takes issue with some people’s claim that troubles make you strong. Dr. Stanley flat out says that they’re wrong. Because troubles destroy some people and weaken others. Furthermore, troubles possess no inherent quality that makes people strong on an emotional or spiritual level.
In truth, as the apostle Paul stated, Christ makes us strong as we rely upon Him in times of trouble. Christ imparts His strength to us.
Today’s question: What do you see as the hallmarks of true contentment? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The aftermath of the storm – nature, cause”