Paul wrote, “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 all this through [Jesus] who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13, NIV). No one is going to be “chipper” or “bubbly” or pleasant when times are tough, but neither do we have to be discontent. Our circumstances don’t have to determine our contentment. It may come as a surprise to learn, but we can be content even in the depths of severe, agonizing suffering. When we seek the center of God’s will for our lives, we can bear up under any amount of stress. We can be this way because He is with us through it all.
Even in our darkest hours, when it seems the full force of our adversaries and our own sins will crush us completely, there is a peace in knowing that we are in the center of God’s will for our lives. It happens only when we humble ourselves, confess and redefine our ambition. This peace comes even when we are under the heavy hand of His discipline. In the depths of our calamity, pain, anguish and suffering, the Spirit of Christ ministers to us and tells us that what we are facing is part of God’s plan for our life—a plan for good, not evil (Jer 29:11). That is why, Jesus is the center of my joy! He allows me to keep peace in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Yes, indeed His Grace is sufficient.
Even when we cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though our emotions are frayed, we can know contentment in hard times by the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit. Even though you can’t track Him, you can trust Him. Seek His will. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Do not be discouraged, depressed or faint-hearted. Delight in your circumstances, knowing that God IS with you, He IS good, and at just the right moment He will deliver you! Make Jesus the center of you joy, the heart of your contentment and the hope for all you do.