Please pray with me Martin Luther's morning prayer: I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen
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.
The word "content" makes me think of contentment which leads me to the word "satisfaction". That makes me think of Mick Jagger's "I can't get no satisfaction…" I think the reason his song was such a big hit is that so many people could resonate with that phrase. How many people do you know who just never seem to be content? How often do you struggle with that same issue? I know I think about it quite often. For a person who has really been blessed in so many ways, I wonder - why don't I feel a greater sense of contentment at this point in my life? Why am I allowing myself to be troubled or worried about this particular situation or a discussion I just had with a friend?
So, what IS this secret to contentment Paul is talking about? The way I read it, St. Paul gives us a hint about the secret when he writes in v. 13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." The answer is simple; it's Jesus! Jesus is the only way to true contentment; any other type of contentment is transitory and phony - it's not the real thing.
How do we experience this true contentment found in Jesus? I find that when I am strongly connected to Jesus - attending worship service once or more a week, spending time reading about how God has revealed himself in the past by reading his Holy Word, being faithful in at least one dedicated period of prayer each morning, and associating with other believers - when I do those things my sense of contentment rises. When I am not active in those areas, my level of satisfaction/contentment starts to wane.
Thank God that we have a source of strength that brings contentment! May the Holy Spirit help you stay connected to that source today.