Thursday, January 6, 2011

In the Refiner's Fire - Trust and Contentment

I've been reading lately about trusting God.

We don't trust God enough.

Any of us. 

We don't have to.

We have so many things that  wecan rely on instead of God: our money, our jobs, our talents, our health, our friends, our family and our possessions.  We place our trust in 401(k)s and 403(b)s and education and the amount of things we buy.  We rely on our spouses and children, our careers and our hobbies to make us happy and keep us fulfilled.

The thing is: God doesn't promise us happiness and fulfillment.  He doesn't promise a bountiful retirement or a long, healthy life. 

What he does promise is this:

All we need to get to heaven.
A relationship with Him - that brings us fulfillment and joy.
That He will help us through our life.

It doesn't mean that life is easy.
It doesn't mean that we shouldn't work hard, or save for our retirement or that we need to quit buying nice things. 

It also means that it's hard to trust God, because we expect earthly things from Him.
We expect that life with nice and easy.
That we will have nice things.
That we will have a nice retirement and a good long life.
Compared with the rest of the world, we have so very much. 
And so we expect things from God that He never promised.

"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 what. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11-13

Isn't it harder to be content when you have much? 

When we are starving, it is easy to be grateful for whatever we are handed to eat, even if it's something we don't like. 
When we don't have a hat or gloves and it's below freezing outside, it is easy to be grateful for any style or color of hat and gloves we are given.
When we don't have a place to live, a one-room efficiency apartment can seem like a palace.

When we have plenty to eat, it's easy to be picky about what we eat.
When we have plenty to wear and keep us warm, it's easy to be picky about style and color
When we have a lovely and comfortable place to have, it's easy to want bigger and better and nicer and more.

Being content is part of the secret of trusting God as we ought to.

I'm hoping that in 2011 I can be more content and trust God more too.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

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