It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day four in the second week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Contentment In All Circumstances
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.“
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
How often do you find your level of contentment fluctuating based on your circumstances? Should it? Does your contentment in serving change based on the circumstances of who you are serving or what you are asked to do? Is it easier for you to serve someone who appears to need help or someone you think doesn’t need your help? What do you think the secret of contentment is that Paul talks about in today’s verse (hint: read verse 13 also)? How does knowing that God desires to give you the strength to do everything He calls you to do help you to serve with contentment?
Each of us have different things that bring us satisfaction and make contentment more likely in our lives. For some it is financial or material reward. For others it is being recognized or honored for what we do. Still others have great contentment when they see the lives of people changed as a result of the effort they have given. Whatever is our “reward” of choice, we will all have times when that reward doesn’t come and we must choose to be content in the circumstances we face. As you pray, ask God to help you have contentment as you are faithful in all circumstances. Pray that your serving of others would not be based on how you feel.