Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ Hebrews 13:5 NIV
I am telling you this, but not because I need something. I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens. Philippians 4:11 ERV
Have you spent any time listening to early morning or afternoon radio? In fact pretty much any type of talk radio on any frequency? If so, you will have heard our national pastime of moaning, groaning, and complaining. If it was an olympic sport, we would be the undisputed gold medal winners every time.
Somehow, we are able to see something wrong with just about anything. How about things like: My football team manager doesn’t know what he is doing and I could manage that for him. Or, a woman gets paid less than a man. Or, that offender should be in prison longer, in fact he should die there. Or, that idiot was promoted over me, and everybody knows I am better than him. Or, the new traffic diversion in town is terrible, and my 8 year old could do it. Or, the waiting times for surgery at my hospital are too long and I could organise things better. Enough already. You get the picture.
Paul had more reason to complain that any of us, but he didn’t. I read that he was shipwrecked, badly beaten, left for dead, imprisoned in chains, taken to the country’s highest supreme court for trial. And yet he wrote the words in the verses above. Obviously he able to stay calm and know with assurance that he had something better than anything else that was thrown at him.
Paul was an early Christian, and so his life was in constant danger. Can we say the same thing? Is our life in constant danger? And yet we don’t have the assurance that everything is worth the cost for the eternal glory that is ours. So what do we do? We moan about anything that doesn’t go our way, and tell anyone who will listen. So what was it that kept Paul secure? He said it this way: ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ It was enough for Paul, shouldn’t it be enough for us too??