Philippians 4:11-12 "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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."
Giving thanks comes hard to us. God calls us to give thanks in everything. If you want to know God's will for your life it is spelled out in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Why is it that we are always focused on what we still don't have rather than thanking God for his provision?
Paul helps us with this matter when he says I have learned to be content. He knew that contentment doesn't come naturally to us. This is something we need to learn. As we increase our trust in God to provide for our needs, the more we can be thankful even as we are waiting for him to answer our prayers. We learn that our contentment doesn't come in response to pleasant circumstances, but as a result of a secure relationship as God's child. We know that our Father in Heaven loves us and he cares for his children. Even though we may be experiencing trials and opposition here, we can be thankful that we are adopted children of God. We have the hope of eternal salvation and we can know that God can use any circumstance for our best and for his glory.
Recently, I was challenged to thank God for those things that money cannot buy. In following the challenge, I realize that most of the significant things in life are the things that money cannot buy. Our joy comes not from pleasant circumstances, but from a right relationship with our Heavenly Father who keeps his eye on us and loves to give us wonderful gifts.
For as long as we live, our life is hidden in Jesus Christ and we can revel in our position with him. When Jesus is our all in all we find that we really don't need anything more and we can be content.
As I prepare my heart this week for the celebration of Thanksgiving, I am counting my blessings. Are you?