By Pastor Jason
"I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." (Philippians 4:11)
The Apostle Paul, writer of a large portion of the New Testament, gives us an insight into how we find inner stability and fulfillment, amidst life's fluctuations. He was a man who was familiar with experiencing drastic life changes and transitions. From occupying elite statuses in society, to being a nomad and experiencing shipwrecks – going from hunting down religious zealots to becoming a religious fanatic himself – from having great excess to suffering hunger, Paul personally knew about the polar opposite realities of existence.
Yet, in all of his various experiences, he figured out a secret: how to find happiness and contentment, no matter what life throws at you.
He said, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want". (Philippians 4:12)
Then, he let's us know that he can do all of that through Christ who gives him strength (verse 13). Now, that's a picture of how Paul used his connection to Christ to fuel his ability to overcome his personal challenges.
Life has also taught me to live loosely. Even though I sometimes wear tight clothing (I'm laughing right now lol), I try not to live too tightly. While I take life seriously, I also try not to be too attached to outcomes; in other words, while I have goals, intentions and desires, I also know that external realities don't define the essence of who I am. The spiritual realm is eternal, while the physical is temporal. That reminder, has a way of re-centering me, irrespective of how things are around me.
Paul found his centering and his anchor, and we have to find ours! Sometimes when I face challenges, I have to remind myself, "Christ (God's Presence and Power at work in me) is my centering and my anchoring, right here, right now!" Maybe you can repeat the same thing over yourself, whenever you need that truth to work in your life.
Boats that aren't anchored, especially during a storm, are more likely to drift, be lost or possibly destroyed in the chaos of the commotion. But, when the boat is anchored, it can generally hold its place, and its owner retains possession – providing future experiences of further enjoyment.
Well, our souls can hold their place and retain connection to God's peace and well-being, even in storms, when our lives are anchored in the reality of our Spirit-Source.
Paul was trying to show us that the realm of Spirit was more real to him than the fluctuations in his natural realm. That knowing gave him great contentment, which helped him to ride the waves, navigate the challenges, and maintain his inner well-being. Today, let's partake of the same.
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