Monday, September 23, 2019

Learning to Be Content

Philippians 4:11-13 (CSB)
I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
The car suddenly stopped moving. It literally stopped in the middle of the road. Not knowing what to do, I called a tow truck to take it to our local mechanic. He informed me the transmission was gone and I needed a new one. It was going to cost a lot of money. Money I did not have. But it was still cheaper than buying a new car, something I also could not afford. Thankfully, God’s people rallied to the cause and helped meet the need. Though I’ve now passed that car on to a church planter, it is still being used for mission work in New England.
Years later, while having dinner with a faithful financial partner to our ministry, my wife and I were stunned when the partner said, “I want to give you the money to buy a brand new car.” A couple of weeks later we drove off the lot with a car that only had 2 miles on it. The only new car we’ve ever had and the one we still drive today. Amazing how God provides.
Old cars. New cars. Old cars with new transmissions. We’ve had them all. In our 26 years of mission work in New England my wife and I have learned, like the Apostle Paul, “how to make do with little, and how to make do with a lot.” God has provided for us time and time again because He is faithful and able to meet all of our needs.
Pastors, church planters, collegiate missionaries and other ministers across New England understand this too, having experienced God’s provision time and time again. God has a way of meeting our needs in any and all circumstances. Both the challenge, and the key, is learning to be content in all circumstances. When we drive car where the new transmission is worth almost as much as the car itself, we rejoice. When we drive a new car off a parking lot that is beyond what we ever dreamed of, we rejoice. In good times and bad, we rejoice because God is working out things in our lives for His glory.
Whatever struggle you are going through, or whatever you are rejoicing in at this moment, must be placed at the feet of the Master. And we must be content that He knows what He is doing in our lives at any given moment.
Lord, help us trust You, in the good times and in the bad, because You are trustworthy. Amen.

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, author and denominational leader in New England since 1993. He currently serves as the Executive Director of both the Baptist Convention of New England and the Baptist Foundation of New England.