Can you change your circumstances without sin and without crime? If you cannot, you are commanded to stay in the uncomfortable circumstance without allowing the circumstance to control your mood, your outlook, your actions. In other words, you are told to be CONTENT.
Contentment means living independent of circumstances and conditions. Even when your surroundings are miserable, you must remember that you are still in control of your response to these conditions.
Our lives are not dictated by our surroundings. Instead, our lives, our next steps are dictated by a loving God.
So how do we suffer being abused at home, at work, at school without complaint or bitterness or retaliation? How do we suffer from lack of food, clothing, shelter and not become depressed, angry, violent? How do we suffer physical illness, mental instability without becoming catatonic or suicidal? How do we live in a wealthy state without forgetting about God?
How can we live without allowing our good, bad or uncertain circumstances to affect our joy, peace, work ethic or ability to love?
Developing a Godly Perspective is Key.
Circumstances change. This is a fact. One season you are on top of the world and another season later you are under water. Dancers have learned that during a pirouette they must fix their gaze on an inanimate object to avoid dizziness or imbalance. It is the same for us. During a crisis, we must fix our gaze on the only inanimate object in our lives. This is not the time to recall your savings account balance, or your fabulous boyfriend, or your beautiful children or your great job. (these are blessings but they can change in an instant) Instead, this is the time to remember God’s promises to us. God does not change. His promises do not change. These are facts that we can count on.
Before you take matters into your owns hands at work, rob the Savings & Loan, or over indulge in an effort to manage a difficult situation, I invite you to remember God has not abandoned you. And He will step in to help.
As you wait on God, continue to take (fair and legitimate) steps to improve your situation and when things are at their worse, remind yourself of a few simple truths.
Our most difficult challenges cause us much turmoil.
But each time we overcome a bad habit, perfect a difficult relationship, confess a sin, forgive an enemy, humble ourselves and pray we become more and more like Christ. We move up a little higher.
Therefore it is up to us to constantly encourage ourselves and others through and over life’s circumstances. The result is NOT contentment WITH the world and its folly but instead contentment IN the world.
It is a process, darling. But the sooner we begin the journey, the happier we will be!