Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cultivating Faith in the 'Good Times'

Sitting at Starbucks, talking to a good friend about books, marriage, and faith, and we stumbled on an interesting topic.  I'd like to get your thoughts on this as well!  You see, though I've been through lots of tough times, I am not currently going through a hard time and I've found it much harder to rely on God.  It's no surprise to any of us that hard times cause us to turn to God in dependence, often more so than in the easier times (often we prefer these times, and refer to them as 'good').  

But I have to think of the Apostle Paul, who learned to be content in any and all situations.  

Philippians 4:12 (NIV)  12 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 find it interesting that Paul expresses a need to 'learn' how to be content in situations where he lived in plenty.  Granted, he suffered many trials, and I have not experienced anything close to the pain he faced....but there were times he did not struggle as well.  Just like you and me.  God does not require us to live in constant suffering, though we do always feel the ache of not being home in heaven, with Christ.  This fact is what draws me back to Christ even in the 'good times'.  I always have this ache within me, regardless of how wonderful my circumstances are.  

How ironic that we may find it harder to follow Christ during these easy times in our faith, when we would hope to be praising God all the more.  

James 5:13 (NIV) 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Perhaps you have found a way to cultivate joy, thanks, a prayerful heart, and devotion to the Word during circumstances that are pleasant.  I am only beginning on this journey.  Do share your thoughts in the comments, so we can all benefit.  I am looking forward to hearing from you and learning from you as well.

God's richest blessings of contentment be yours, 


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