Philippians 4:11-12 NLT Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 CEV Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote these words had trained himself to focus on his inner resources, the resources his heart contained, rather than the outward circumstances of his life. He chose to be grateful. He chose to praise God – period. "Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ."
For believers, contentment should be governed by inner attitude and the decisions we make rather than by external circumstances.
Paul understood what it meant to live in Christ and to have Christ living in him. He had made the decision to draw his life from the Lord and, as a result, had the calm assurance that what he possessed inside could never be stolen. He was confident in his identity as a child of God with full access to the abundant life Jesus offers.
John 15:1-9 (NLT)1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Gratitude brings contentment yields perseverance and produces strength.
Romans 5:3-5 NKJV And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
James 1:2-4 NIV Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
God entrusts trials to us, giving us the opportunity to choose gratitude. It is easy to practice gratitude when the seas are calm and the skies are clear, but the real test of gratitude is in the midst of the greatest storm of our lives.
When our hearts are filled with gratitude, we will find contentment. Choose to practice gratitude. Gratitude is wrapped around trust and contains the element of acceptance. Gratitude understands that God is sovereign and that His ways are not our ways. There will be times when we find it impossible to understand His process, but we can always trust His heart. Remember, you can count on every promise of God.
Father, I Come To You, Confessing That I Tend To Have A Heart That Is Filled With Whining And Complaining Instead Of Gratitude. Please Forgive Me. Help Me Learn To See Your Hand At Work In My Life. I Want To Trust You Even When I Don’t Understand My Circumstances. Right Now, I Choose To Praise You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,