After years being taught and discipled by the Lord, Paul could say.
“I have learned to be content…Through Christ…” Philippians 4:12-13
It was not natural, even for Paul, to be content. He needed to learn contentment, to let go of the world and live in a kingdom mindset.
One of the essential parts of contentment is rest, the awareness of the hovering presence of the Father.
Contentment and rest do not come naturally. We are not born with a “content, untroubled” gene. We are born with a restless searching spirit, a spirit that is constantly seeking a place of rest. We explore the world’s promises of security, contentment and rest, wealth, power and pleasure, unaware that they are temporary diversions at best and a drug to the soul.
We cannot run after these without wounding our spirit and our relationships with God, others and self.
We are invited to enter God’s rest, a place of contentment, untroubled days, days of easy yokes and light burdens.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We come to Him wearied, tired, exhausted from our toil of body or mind.
He refreshes us and brings us into a place where we can quiet our spirit, and restore our soul and body. A place of rest where we can get a perspective that allows us to see more clearly the things that are significant.
Often we labor or take on burdens that have no kingdom significance, those things that drain us and wear us down with worry.
He is not telling us that we will not labor, but that the labor will not be onerous.
We are told to take up his yoke and watch and learn from him. In so doing we learn to live from a place of a quiet heart. When we do, we will come to rest.
His yoke: the submission to his guidance.
It is easy — He labors with us, taking the lead and the weight of the work.
It is easy — It does not grind us down and the burden (there will be a burden) is light.
He lends us His strength and endurance and in Him we will more than conquer.
“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 all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13