What’s your super power? Ever have that discussion with your friends? If you could have a super power, what would it be? I always wanted to be Aquaman. How about you? Today we learn not about super power but secret power. Jesus is the secret power in all situation!
11 I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Yesterday we reflected about the peace of God, which, in part, comes from taking joy in all situations (as distinct from happiness). The Apostle Paul knows all about these things because he lived it out. He had good experience in plenty and in want, in struggle and persecution and victory. He says, ‘I have learned the secret of being content.’
What’s the secret?
Him. Jesus. The one who gives us strength. He’s our secret. Our secret power in the face of everything every day.
In all situations, if we have Jesus to rely upon and to frame our perspective and our purpose, we’ll be empowered to be content no matter what.
Relying on self can be pretty lonely, right? There is an end to ourselves. I’ve reached it. Have you? Then what? That’s what we ask when we get there. Now what? Now what am I going to do? Who is going to help me now? Relying on Jesus immediately takes the pressure and anxiety off us. We aren’t alone. And our success isn’t the goal. God’s perspective is more important…
God’s perspective should guide our view of everything. The world sets us toward a twisted view of inputs and outputs and goals and accomplishment. God’s perspective re-frames our view to see things differently. How? According to the priorities of heaven. In God’s economy, loving others in the world and sharing grace is the underlying perspective. Glorifying God in that way sets us on a path of following Jesus’ example.
Following Jesus’ example gives us a purpose that we know will be aligned with God. Jesus always wanted to please his Father in heaven. Every day. In every situation. And so, as we adopt the purpose of Jesus, we can be confident that we will please the Father also.
Living in Christ, with Jesus living through us, we can be at peace and completely content in every and all circumstance. Notice that none of the things I mentioned above have to do with wealth or poverty or hunger or abundance? It’s all about living in Jesus. He is our source of contentment. He is our source of strength.
We can do all things through him and his strength!