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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Contentment and Prayer

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6)

As I defined contentment in my last post: Contentment is a satisfaction in God that a Christian possess that transcends the circumstances of life. No matter what life brings to someone, there is a foundation of joy that stabilizes one through the life struggles. Even though finances are strained, relationships bring difficulties, or any other host of problems, the soul is sustained by a trust in the One that is greater than all that life brings. “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8b-9)

One of the opposing attitudes to contentment is fear. When faced with a circumstance that causes the heart grief, the sustaining joy in God is removed. For fear says that the difficulty that one is going through transcends the ability of God to reign over that problem. “We felt like we had received the sentence of death, that is too much for God to conquer!” That is what fear communicates!

That is why Paul tell the Philippians not to be anxious about anything. Fear should not be a response to any problem the Christian faces.

The response should be, instead, to bring everything to God in thankful prayer. Why is that? What does prayer communicate?

If fear communicate distrust in God, prayer communicates absolute trust in God. It is going before the sovereign Lord of the universe and confessing what He already knows. That you and I are only sustained by the Lord's strength. We turn to no one else for help but to the only One who can provide full and lasting help. Prayer is a declaration of total dependence in God.

That is where contentment plays into this. When we pray, it is a act of contentment. We humbly and happily say to God that “Even though this trouble that has come into my life is far too strong for my strength, you, oh Lord, rule the heavens! There is nothing too hard for you to do!” By praying we find ourselves satisfied by handing our deliverance and sustainability in the hands of our transcendent, friend, our sympathetic, sovereign High Priest, in our Savior, Christ Jesus. Prayer is the rightful response to seeing the might of our Savior, His delighting in showing His glory by providing our needs, and in our complete inability to care for ourselves. Therefore, we show our satisfaction in God by going to Him in prayer. And this is part of the satisfaction that underlies a contented life.