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Joy is Contentment


To be content can be defined as the state of being at ease with your circumstances. It can further be described as acceptance of one’s situation or circumstances. It is further described as a state of happiness, no matter your circumstances. Hmmmmm, each of these causes me to pause and ponder. Contentment is a word that I am very much familiar with but don’t give much thought to often. But today I am reminded of a man named Paul who endured sufferings of many kinds and wrote that he had found the secret of being content no matter what state he found himself in. I love finding out secrets, don’t you? He stated that the secret of his being content no matter what state he was in or challenges he faced was his dependence upon Christ. Never forget that joy does not mean that we will always be happy. Happiness depends on external circumstances. While joy is an inside job. We can have a sense of internal wellbeing despite external circumstances.


Yesterday my husband and I were walking together and somehow the subject of being dependent and independent was suddenly being discussed. He asked me if I was a dependent or an independent woman. My reply to him was, “I am dependent on God”. I then said that I have a US military dependent ID card, which means as far as they are concerned, it means I am his dependent. I then I looped my arm in his and he said, “Let me go” and tried to pull away and I would not! We both laughed!


I am convinced that like the man, Paul, I really find that the more I depend upon God, for everything, I experience contentment when circumstances around me dictate otherwise. When I was in the military and had to present myself before my commander, I stood in front of him at the position of attention and he would order me, “At Ease.” That simply meant to abandon my rigid position and assume a more relaxed one. Many of us are living in a constant state of being at attention when we should be at ease. It is our complete dependence upon Him that will help us embrace His joy that will strengthen us to endure all challenges. Paul was right! Now, that is the secret of contentment! God is saying, “At ease, beloved!” Now, why are you still standing at attention?

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