Praise be to God for everything we own is His and His love is immeasurable:
Are you content with your life as it is right now? Are there things that you want that seem unobtainable at the moment? Whether it’s money, a new car, a relationship with “that person” you’ve yet to gather the courage to talk to, or simply to be happier than you are right now, I can assure you that God has a plan for you. What most people think, including me, is that they can get more out of life with such things and not having these makes us weak.
Having started my first year in ministry I realized one thing very quickly, there isn’t much money in what I do. This was fine at first; I had just quit my job in the oilfield and decided to go back to school in Lubbock. I was financially secure through all that I had saved but, as that money depleted and I started to rely more and more on my paychecks from the Church it was harder to do the things I had done when I first moved back. Things like movies, eating out at restaurants, or buying new things just weren’t possible. I have always heard from my dad growing up, and from other pastors, that God provides. And he does, just not in the ways I thought He would. I couldn’t understand why He would let me live so poorly when I was doing the work He had called me to do. It wasn’t until I read a passage from Philippians 4:11 that I started to realize what God was trying to tell me about my situation.
Paul writes to Philippi how thankful he is that they have helped him in times of need. He writes, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”, and then further explains that whatever situation he is in, whether it be high or low, rich or poor, he knows that God will take care of him. Even in his weakness God is still there. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This is all due to Jesus, who had told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God is our strength! When we are at low points in our lives God prevails. I like to think this is due to the lack of distractions that occur during these valleys of loss or uncertainty so that He shines through. When we focus too much on having more physical or emotional satisfaction in our lives, we start to build a wall that separates us from God. Tear down the wall! Give your focus to God and He will meet your needs (not your wants).
After having read these passages and looking at my life through them, I saw that the things I had once been able to do and obtain weren’t as important as I led myself to believe. God is steering me away from such things so that my focus will fall directly upon Him. Having finished my first year in ministry, my relationship with the Father has grown considerably compared to when I worked in the oilfield. Being content with what I have and who I am, not what I am to gain in the future, has brought me peace instead of constant worry as to what I am to do or obtain. Be content friends!