Our Daily Elder Devotional: A Lesson Learned

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from Our Daily Bread.

A Lesson Learned

1

Philippians 4:10-19New International Version (NIV)

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 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.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Mary was widowed and facing serious health challenges when her daughter invited her to move into the new “granny apartment” attached to her home.  Although it would involve leaving friends and the rest of her family many miles away, Mary rejoiced in God’s provision.

 

Six months into her new life, the initial joy and contentment threatened to slip away as she was tempted to grumble inwardly and doubt whether the move was really God’s perfect plan.  She missed her Christian friends, and her new church was too far away to get to independently.

 

Then she read something that the great 19th-century preacher Charles Spurgeon had written.  “Now contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and it must be cultivated,” he pointed out. “Paul says…’I have learned to be content,’ as if he didn’t know how at one time.”

 

Mary concluded that if an ardent evangelist like Paul, confined to prison, abandoned by friends, and facing execution could learn contentment, then so could she.

 

“I realized that until I could learn this lesson, I wouldn’t enjoy those things God had planned,” she said.  “So I confessed my inward grumbling and asked for His forgiveness.  Soon after that a newly retired lady asked if I would be her prayer partner, and others offered me a ride to church. My needs for a ’soul friend’ and greater mobility were wonderfully met.”  Marion Stroud

 

Are there areas of life where you need to learn contentment?  Ask God to help you now.

 

God doesn’t always change our circumstances, but He will change us.

 

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