Philippians 4:11 (NIV1984) 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 everything through him who gives me strength.14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
Today’s word shares that Contentment is a disposition we put on. It was in 1636 and the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Death, disease, and economic collapse overshadowed Europe in a fog of terror. One German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen people per day! Yet under the shadow of death and amidst a crucible of chaos, Rinkart penned this beautiful prayer for his children:
Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices who wondrous things had done, In whom His world rejoices. Who, from our mother’s arms Hath led us on our way with countless gifts of love and still is ours today.”
Was this man in denial? Out of touch? Or was he a person who put on Contentment not complacency in whatever he experienced in his life. Martin Rinkart was a person of incredible faith. He knew thanksgiving flows from within as a result of acknowledging the love of God at all times. Thanksgiving is not so much dependent on outward circumstances, but rather an inward determination, desire, and disposition. I am learning this critical lesson now more than ever before in my own life. How about you? Contentment means God is in full control of whatever happens in our lives and we make a decision to trust God no matter what!