The secret

Bible Reading: Read Philippians 4:10-13
Author: Scott Martin (New Jersey, US)
Monday 5 November 2018 © The Upper Room.
Years ago, my job required me to move halfway across the country. For the first few months I felt very content. I had a good job, a nice apartment near the beach and a close friend for a roommate. Then a couple of friends from home came to visit and questioned how I could be happy there. They pointed out that I was many miles from home, did not have a lot of friends and not much of a social life. ‘Don’t you feel isolated and miss home?’ they asked. From that point on, I did feel isolated and lonely and eventually moved back home.

Later, I realised that their comments had shifted my focus from what I had to what I was missing. I now understand that, in many situations, our contentment depends on how we perceive and value our circum- stances.

Certainly this is true in the context of Paul’s writing in Philippians 4. Paul’s circumstances at that time were dire. Yet in spite of all kinds of hardships, he ‘learned the secret of being content’. He goes on to reveal his secret: ‘I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me’ . The secret to my contentment is found in Jesus Christ. So we can focus our attention not on what might be missing in our lives but rather on all the blessings that God has lavished on us.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to focus on the blessings you give us and to recognise that we draw our strength through your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
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