Week Forty-One, 2019
We live in a world where satisfaction comes from things, achievements and money. “If only I had X, I would be satisfied.” We strive for material accomplishments to keep up with our neighbors and then they re-finance and the race starts all over again. People strive for certain goals and when they get there somehow it doesn’t seem that great. It was Alexander the Great who by his early thirties conquered all of the then known world and then cried out is despair saying, “Are there no more worlds to conquer. “
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jeremiah 31:25.”
Achieving the standards of the world simply will bring neither happiness nor satisfaction. Yet Madison Avenue spends millions trying to make people unsatisfied. True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient and to want nothing. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. Those who are not satisfied with a little will never be with much. We should not spoil what we have by desiring what you don’t have.
There is a difference between needs and wants. The dictionary defines a necessity as “an indispensable thing” – something that everyone needs. There are some things that everyone clearly needs just to survive, such as food, water, shelter, and clothing. If a necessity is something that everybody needs, it seems logical that a luxury must be something that nobody really needs, but many people want.
The saving money can’t buy you happiness also means that it won’t prevent sadness. Some of the wealthiest are some of the saddest people. Affluence alone won’t bring happiness. Money will buy you a bed, but not a good night’s sleep, a house, but not a home, a companion, but not a friend. True love is not for sale at any price.
The apostle Paul was a man who suffered and went without the comforts of life more than most people could ever imagine. Yet, he knew the secret of contentment: “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. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Yet, people continue to seek after more of the things of this world, never contented with their lot in life. The bumper sticker that reads “He with the most toys wins epitomizes the worlds craving for more.”
“Be content with such things as you have” means that as believers such should be our trust and confidence in God that we should be satisfied with our condition regardless of our circumstances. For we know assuredly that if we are faithful God will cause all things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Consider these national statistics: • Only 54 percent of foster children earn a high school diploma. • Only 2 percent earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. • 51 percent of foster care graduates are unemployed. • 84 percent of foster care graduates become parents too soon, exposing their children to a repeated cycle of neglect and abuse. On any given day, there are roughly 450,000 children in foster care. That’s one child per church in America. What are you willing to do about it?
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Anxiety continues to escalate in America, especially among young people. According to recent data, nearly half of college students surveyed “felt overwhelming anxiety over the previous year.” A third “had problems functioning because of depression.”
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True joy transcends circumstances. While happiness is a product of happenings, joy is the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).
Jesus promised his followers that, after his resurrection, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The closer we are to Jesus, the more we will manifest his joy.
The key is to focus more on Christ than on circumstances. It is to live vertically in a horizontal culture, bringing every challenge to Jesus and finding in him the courage and hope he alone provides.
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Because Jesus humbled Himself for us, it is our duty, obligation, and joy to humble ourselves as well. But to adjust ourselves into a radically humble lifestyle to escape the clutches of That Other God, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Have we lived so long worshipping our own egos that we’ve lost our ability—perhaps even our desire—to humble ourselves as Christ did?”
Peter and Jesus
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And, when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the god. G. K. Chestern
Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14–15
The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. Senator Margaret Chase Smith
The Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the golf course. – Billy Graham
The problem with today’s younger generation is that they believe there is not a power higher than themselves.
Hateful ideas lead to hateful atrocities.
What the world throws away still matters to God.
We do not exist for ourselves alone. Thomas Merton
Sin speaks a dead language.
Lust is when you entertain yourself with what Jesus died to overcome.