The Discipline of Peace and the Secret of Contentment | 40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 30
Today’s Reading: Philippians and Colossians
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
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. Philippians 4: 4-12
He writes about rejoicing and praying with thanksgiving. He writes about a transcending peace and learning the secret of being content when he’s imprisoned in chains.
Often, we want to intercept all of the rough stuff happening…to just stop thinking about it and to do something else to replace the anxious thoughts. But when we chase after a false peace, its like chasing after butterflies. The butterfly never stays in one place. It flits here and there and there and here and stays only for a moment in search for sweet nectar.
I believe we all are searching for some measure of peace, a sweet calming nectar to quench the sorrow, the fears, the anxiety in the fray. I hazard to say that peace will not be found without the discipline to pursue Jesus. Because the rough stuff will not miraculously disappear and all our efforts to circumvent it will be short-lived.
Where is contentment and peace found? It’s found in the doctrine of the gospel. It’s found in worshipping Jesus. It’s found in Christ alone. It has nothing to do with what I do but it’s all about what Jesus will do and has done. The discipline of peace is learning who God is. The rough stuff may not go away for a long, long time…but the never-ending peace of rejoicing and thinking and loving the King of Kings will strengthened this humble soul to learn contentment.
So, I reach for real peace: To rejoice in the Lord always, praying with thanksgiving, thinking about words that will transform my thoughts, and to love the pure, lovely and admirable truth of the Lord. Through this discipline of peace, I will, by God’s grace, begin to learn the secret of contentment.
About 40 Gifts of Lent
I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent