Jesus encouraged us to have joy in tribulation, because He already experienced every issue we will ever face. He lives within us, so He inspires us to change our focus about life (John 16:33; Hebrews 2:18, 4:15).
Paul and James experienced more trials in their lifetime than we ever will, and they gave us the same advice to rejoice in our tribulation (Romans 5:3, 12:12; James 1:2). In fact, Paul also told us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4).
The secret of learning to be content is to realize that this earth is not our home (Philippians 4:12). With an eternal perspective, we realize who we are in Christ and we stop worrying about earthly pursuits and dreams.
An eternal perspective allows us to have joy in adverse circumstances (2 Corinthians 4:16-17), because issues on this earth have less significance to us than those pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
We trust in the Lord with our whole heart, holding nothing back, not trusting in our self or any fleshly advantage, submitting everything to God and embracing His will as our own (Proverbs 3:5-6).
If we wait patiently for the Lord, we shall not be moved, even in times of great stress or persecution. Christ is our solid rock on which we stand, our strong tower from the enemies, which come against us (Psalm 40:1-2, 61:3).
When someone offends or harasses one of God’s children, He takes it personally just as if the person was afflicting Him with our pain (Acts 9:5-6). He is our refuge and strength in any sign of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
We quietly rest in His care, knowing that He always delivers us through all of our afflictions (Psalm 23:4, 34:19). Even when He disciplines us for our sinful behavior, we can rejoice that He loves us as His children (Hebrews 12:3-6).
Father God, thank You for teaching us to have an eternal perspective on life. We want to learn to be content as Paul did and to walk in Your nurture and admonition (Ephesians 6:4). Keep us ever faithful to Your Kingdom’s work and remind us that if we fail to witness to the ones You put in our path, their blood is on our hands (Ezekiel 3:19-20).
Help us to see that all we actually need to be content is food and shelter (1 Timothy 6:8). Teach us that the pursuit of this world’s goods never satisfies; yet, when Godliness is accompanied by contentment, we reap many rewards (Ecclesiastes 5:10; 1 Timothy 6:6).
Thought for the Day:
When we are joyful and content, our attitude shows on our face; but when we focus on our tribulation, the weight of it will break our spirit. – Proverbs 15:13