There is a lot of talk lately about "first world problems"...........and I think that there is some validity to remembering our blessings and seeing our problems in the bigger picture of what is happening in the world.
Does referring to our "problems" lessen them or hide them?
Do we deal with our feelings, our thoughts of discontent by burying them, not dealing with the root of what is really bothering us or do they magically disappear when we refer to them as "first world problems"?
Do we mean that our contentment, our happiness is based on the things we have, the circumstances we find ourselves in or have we learned to be content in ALL circumstances?
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
- Philippians 4:11-13
Isn't it interesting that Paul says that he has learned to be content whether he is well fed or hungry, whether he is living in plenty or in want................hmmmmm, I always focused on the want part. How bout you?
What if we have to learn to be content when we have a house, a car, a job, good food and healthy children? What if our contentment comes not from what we have but from God himself? I think we say that it does but then we say things like oh, I have healthy children and a great family and a job so I should be happy. I don't have any real problems or heartaches so I should be shouting from the rooftops, I have a house and food and a husband so I should be joyful.............right?
I have God so I am joyful.
I have Jesus so I am shouting from the rooftops.
I have Love, who walked right into my heart, and so I am content.
To base our contentment on anything else leaves us open to Deception. And when those things - your house, your job, your children, your spouse fail you..............Deception walks in and makes his home. And when you say your problems aren't worthy of being problems, aren't worthy of being dealt with..............Deception walks in, makes himself comfy and begins to wreak havoc on your heart because you haven't acknowledged the root of your discontentment because the guy next door, the next world over has it worse. Deception wins.
So the next time you are TEMPTED to dismiss your problems remember Paul's words that he had to LEARN contentment in ALL situations. That Paul, who has been referred to as one of the greatest apostles, had to LEARN to be content in plenty, when well-fed. Who has to do that?
I have learned to be content when my children are healthy and with me.
I have learned to be content when my arms are empty and waiting, waiting to be filled with my child - whether in this life or the next.
I have learned to be content when I have a warm house overflowing with food.
I have learned to be content when I don't know where my next meal is coming from.
I have learned to be content when I have friends aplenty.
I have learned to be content when I am alone.
I have learned to be content when I have my dream job.
I have learned to be content when I don't have any job,
I have learned my contentment comes from Him.
I have learned my contentment is based not on circumstances but on the Everlasting, Unchanging, Mighty God I love and who loves me.