Read Philippians 4:10-13

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.

—Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

Years ago, my job required me to move halfway across the country. For the first few months I felt very content. I had a good job, a nice apartment near the beach and a close friend for a roommate. Then a couple of friends from home came to visit and questioned how I could be happy here. They pointed out that I was many miles from home, did not have a lot of friends and was not dating much. “Don’t you feel isolated and miss home?” they asked. From that point on, I did feel isolated and lonely and eventually moved back home.

Later, I realized that their comments had shifted my focus from what I had to what I was missing. I now understand that, in many situations, our contentment depends on how we perceive and frame our circumstances.

Certainly this is true in the context of Paul’s writing in Philippians 4. Paul’s circumstances at the time were dire. Yet in spite of all kinds of hardships, he “learned the secret of being content.” He goes on to reveal his secret: “I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me.” The secret to my contentment is found in Jesus Christ. So we can focus our attention not on what might be missing in our lives but rather on all the blessings God has lavished on us.

Prayer—Dear God, help us to focus on the blessings you give us and recognize that we draw our own strength through your son and our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thought for the Day—What blessing from God have I been overlooking?

Scott Martin (New Jersey)