Like Paul in prison, we may go through very difficult times, but if our focus is on God, we will be content and even joyful.
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.“
Even though Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written during a long and unjust imprisonment, it was filled with joy. The apostle never complained, blamed others, or felt sorry for himself—instead, he rejoiced in the midst of suffering because he knew and trusted God. By keeping his eyes fixed on the Lord instead of the problems, Paul was able to look beyond his chains to see how the situation was being used to teach him contentment.
It is difficult to shift our focus in times of overwhelming difficulty and intense suffering. The pain screams for our attention, and the troubles bombard our mind and emotions with anxiety. But that’s when we most need to sit down with Scripture and pour out our heart to God. He invites us to cast all our concerns upon Him because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
Do you believe that God cares for you? Every trial you experience is an opportunity to believe what the Bible says about God and to look beyond your circumstances to His loving wisdom and good purpose. And the more you learn to know your heavenly Father, the more content you will be.