I like to read mystery novels. All through the book you are introduced to different characters, any one of whom may be the culprit. Just when you think you have it figured out, a new twist is thrown in and now you are not sure who "done" it.
Life is like that, isn’t it? One day everything seems to be going the way I want it to. The next day a new "twist" throws us off balance and we have to adjust our thinking and our actions.
The Apostle Paul was like this. As Saul of Tarsus, he persecuted the church. When Jesus appeared to him and he obeyed God’s commands, he became a great servant. But, not everything went exactly as he would have liked it to.
In Philippians 4:11, Paul would say, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." (NASB). What a statement! Paul could be content whatever his circumstances? Yes, and he showed us that God was so important in His life that he would work all things out for good.
Paul, for instance, is preaching in Lystra. The Jews do not like it and stone him. Paul could be content when others were opposed to him. He wrote the book of Philippians while he was a prisoner in a jail in Rome. Of course, at one time he had been in the prison in Philippi. Yet Paul could be content.
Could you be content if others did not like or respect you? Could you be content in a jail cell with someone telling you what to do at every moment? Most of us would say "No." Paul could? Why was he able to say this? Because God had laid hold of him to do a great work, just like he has us. And, God is still in control and will be there when things are not going well in our lives. If we will continue to have confidence in God’s will, if we will seek Him first in our lives, then we can be content. At the end of everyday, no matter what has happened, we can put our head on our pillow and know we have pleased God. This is contentment. Do you have this today? If not, put God first and let Him direct your steps.