Are you stuck in a personal “pity party?”
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:11-12 KJV)
Paul was a biblical great who faced many difficult situations and trials during his public ministry of the gospel message of Christ. Paul considered his many trials with joy, instead of lingering in the details or regarding his personal suffering, but rather focused his attention upon the supernatural power and peace of God working in his life despite any setbacks or circumstances he may encounter.
Paul knew that he could bury himself in a covetous attitude having a pity party while seeking after things not close at hand. Or he could choose to rally making spiritual progress in the things he did have working for God in his life; being grateful. How many times do we desire that which we do not have; feeling sorry for ourselves in the process? We all likely covet more often than we would care to admit.
All it takes is one look into Jesus Christ’s short earthly ministry to discover He set the bar or godly standard of contentment in any state of affairs. The fifty third chapter of Isaiah gives us a powerful example of the kind of treatment Christ faced near the end of His earthly life and His selfless attitude towards those who were inflicting ill treatment upon Him:
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:4-7 KJV)
Can you face times of great need along with times of a bountiful harvest with the same heartfelt attitude of thankfulness to God? Can you be equally satisfied as your plate and your pocketbook become barren without any foreseen possibility of relief in sight? Can you face times of danger and peril together with times of security and safety without becoming anxious or worried?
Spiritual satisfaction comes from understanding the enormous cost to Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt in full, of which we could never afford to pay for ourselves, with His life. He shed His precious blood so that we can live; now and for all eternity.