During struggles, we often forget that contentment is a choice.
Many are drowning in challenges and are having a difficult time–in their jobs or lack of one, in their families, with their children or in clashes with relatives, in other relationships, and within. When challenges occur outside that impact how we feel about ourselves inside, that’s conflict, and too often we get to a point where we feel as if we’re clinging to a limb by our last nail, looking down at a huge drain, and the temptation is strong, then stronger, to just let go and swirl on down.
Believers suffer these struggles too, and cling to that limb embracing faith. But doubt is strong and it’s used against us. The devil loves weakness and seizes vulnerability, so we get kicked when we’re down. Hard.
Suffering the blows makes it hard to remember that as believers we have promises. We won’t be alone, abandoned or forgotten. What’s intended to harm us will be turned for good. And there are many more that offer hope and encouragement, guidance and comfort.
Yet when we’re hanging by that one nail and watching the muddy water beneath us swirl down that drain, it’s hard to hold onto that certainty and maybe even hard to remember those promises. But it is exactly then that we most need to remember them.
If we stand fast and hold on, continue to trust God and believe His promises, we’ll get through the troubles. We won’t be immune to them, but we’ll have the endurance and strength and fortitude to hold on and see the struggles for what they are–opportunities to grow and change and gain new insight and wisdom.
Think back. When’s the last time you gained anything that elevated you in your spiritual walk during easy times? During times when you were cruising along without challenges? It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Challenges and obstacles force us to evaluate and decide what most matters, who most matters–who we choose to be and how we choose to act and react in the face of adversity. In our responses, we define ourselves and our faith. We either have firm reliance and trust or we discover we need work in those areas.
The Apostle Paul instructed us to be content wherever we are. He did so from a prison where he was steeped in sewage. If he can be content exercising his will and trust in faith, so can we.
So choose to be content. In your circumstance, no matter how dire things appear, remember that ours is a steadfast God who does not change, who keeps His word, and never gives us more to handle than we are capable of handling, and choose contentment. Hold fast to faith and believe. When doubt or fear rears its ugly head, tamp it.
If you choose contentment, you’ll look not down at the drain but up. You’ll see past that one nail on the limb to the strong arms above it, poised to catch you should you fall.
Contentment is a choice. Choose wisely.