English: The Last Supper of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
True Contentment Part 2
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss, for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; In order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained it. Or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”
Another key to finding “true contentment” in our lives is not focusing on the “what-ifs” in life. But rather, on the things that are “right now”. Ultimately if we focus on the “what-ifs” in life we either live in the past or we live in a fantasy of the future. Yes Paul tells us that he was reaching forward to what lies ahead, but this means that he can see past his present circumstances. This does not mean that he is focused on the what-ifs of his future. Because in V16 he states; “however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” I think this is confirmation that we are called to live in the present.
In V8 Paul tells us that he suffered the loss of all things. In this case the word suffer means, to suffer great mental or physical pain. Losing the things we have for Jesus is not without gain however. There is much to be learned through this experience, if we allow God to show us. According to V11 that blessing is “In order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Salvation, this is our reward for standing strong in the face of trials of all sorts. For it is in the deepest parts of these trials that we find God. Therein we find true contentment when we realize that He is all we need.
True contentment comes when we know that we are going to be ok if we can’t figure out our next step. We don’t have to be in control as long as we allow that control to be God’s. I want to be content. Truly content and I know that the only way that I can truly ever be content is to follow the examples that Jesus Himself left for us; either through Jesus Himself, or through His disciples. He gave us all that we need to understand how to be successful in our walk, the BIBLE. Not success as the world sees success, but success as God sees it. To be able to stand before Him one day and hear the words “Well done my good and faithful servant.” To me that is the ultimate goal. Let’s not lose heart in this crazy rat race we call life; remember that this is not our home. We are just visitors waiting for the Lord to call us home. What a glorious day that will be! So till then, keep fighting the good fight and don’t lose heart!