Day 20 – August 27, 2021 – Holly Armstrong
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Are you suffering today? Hurting? Facing an uncontrollable circumstance? And, is bitterness, unforgiveness, and/or anger trying to creep into your heart?
When life is tough, and we have no control over what is happening, worldly emotions tend to take over. However, Paul discovered a secret to finding contentment in life’s hardest situations. Though imprisoned, Paul wanted to encourage others to look to Christ who freely offers the strength to face anything.
My first encounter with the book of Philippians happened a few months after I began following Christ. My husband and I had tried for over a year to get pregnant, and we had finally been blessed. However, our joy was turned to utter broken-heartedness one week in September when my best friend was brutally murdered and I also miscarried our baby.
In our despair, we did the only thing we knew to do; we turned to Jesus, and he carried us through our pain.
How does one find contentment when innocent life is ripped from this world? Let’s be honest, without Christ, it is impossible. (John 15:5) But with Christ……all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
Personally, I found meditating on Philippians 4 the only feasible solution to my gut-wrenching pain. I didn’t want bitterness, unforgiveness or anger to take root. It couldn’t change my situation, and it certainly wouldn’t bring back my loved ones.
Thankfully, we were surrounded by spiritual mentors, like Paul was to the people of Philippi, who encouraged us to discover contentment through Christ. And, it worked. When we sat in the courtroom listening to a murderer’s sentencing, we found forgiveness. When we heard our friends announcing their pregnancies while our arms remained empty, we discovered peace.
Friend, today you CAN make it. Life might be hard; you may be suffering more than you can handle, but it is never more than Christ can handle! Hand Him your pain and He will pour on you everything you need to make it through each day. Find satisfaction in Him alone because it truly is the only way to live a life of contentment.
Dear Jesus, I pray for everyone who is hurting today, for anyone who feels overcome with emotion, for anyone who is finding it difficult to be content. Grant them your peace and carry them through life’s most challenging moments. Surround them with mentors who will guide them to you, and may they be content just being in your presence, knowing that you will never leave them alone with their pain. Thank you for all you have given us. We love you. Amen.