It’s easy today to be feeling a lot of anxiety, fear, discontentment, and restlessness. With so much uncertainty about the future, so much job loss, widespread illness, and isolation, you may be battling anxiety as you never have before. Unfortunately, a lot of times we look in all the wrong places for something to fill our inner need for peace and contentment. Some people look to food while others look to alcohol or drugs. Often we look to others to somehow fix it all and make us feel safe.
When the apostle Paul told the Philippians, “Be anxious for nothing,’ he was in a prison cell awaiting a trial that could end in his death sentence for preaching the gospel. He had a lot of reasons for anxiety, loneliness, and unhappiness. Paul gave a clear statement as to his antidote for anxiety: “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4 verses 6-7. He was saying, “I’m in this prison, but what’s between me and these bars is the peace of God. My peace and joy don’t come from my circumstances, but they come from the fact that God is with me in this difficulty. I give thanks that He is the source of my strength, and He will bring me through this to victory”.
When you’re feeling anxious, restless, and discontented, I encourage you to meditate on all the words of Philippians 4, and especially these words: “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. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength”. He learned the profound secret that contentment in his relationship with Christ is a powerful state of mind. He learned that because Christ was living in him, he could do all things with Christ strengthening him. In Christ, even alone in a prison cell with his life on the line, Paul was full of peace, joy, and contentment.
Contentment is defined as a “state of peaceful happiness”, an attitude that has nothing to do with where you are or what you have. Proverbs 15 verse 15 says, “For the happy heart, life is a continual feast”. Can I encourage you to feast on the fact that God is for you, not against you? Because you’re full of Christ Jesus, He’s helping you through whatever you’re going through. It’s the “I can through Him” that’s going to give you the strength to do!