Contentment in All Circumstances

Fiddler-on-the-roof

“The disciples were incredulous!  ’Then who in the world can be saved, if not a rich man?’  they asked.”

Mark 10:26 – The Living Bible

The disciples were reacting to Jesus’ statement that it is nearly impossible for a rich man (i.e. one who trusts in riches) to enter into the Kingdom of God.  I puzzled over this passage yesterday and today in my devotions I was drawn to it again.

Why did the disciples think it would be easier for a rich man to enter the Kingdom?  It reminds me of the scene from “Fiddler on the Roof” where Tevye is singing, “If I Were A Rich Man..”  In one verse he sings:

If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray,
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall,
And I’d discuss the learned books with the holy men
Seven hours every day–
That would be the sweetest thing of all…

It must have been similar in the disciples’ time.  Those who were rich had leisure to study, pray in the temple for long periods, have access to the religious leadership, etc.  Jesus’ disciples must have thought that it would be so much easier for the rich to enter into the Kingdom because they didn’t have to be so concerned with the daily grind of working a menial job.  They could really focus on their relationship with God.

I can’t fault these guys.  Isn’t this similar to what I’ve been thinking recently?  If only I didn’t have to work at McKissock every day I’d be able to be at the church. I’d be able to do the work that needs done at our radio ministry.  I’d have time to prepare and record a daily radio show, etc., etc., etc.

The reality is that God has provided this job for me and I need to be content to stay there until He moves me someplace else or provides something different.  I need to be content that if it’s His will for me as a Pastor that I also work a full-time “secular” job for the remainder of my life that I’m okay with that.

It’s not our job status, wealth, poverty or anything else that keeps us from entering into the Kingdom of God.  We enter in by His Grace.  It’s also not my job status, wealth, poverty, or anything else that prevents me from enjoying the abundant life that Jesus wants me to enjoy.  It’s my refusal to find contentment and joy in my relationship with Him instead of in my circumstances.  That’s what blocks the joy that can only be found in Him..

Lord, forgive me.  Help me to find my joy and contentment in You and You alone each and every day – regardless of my circumstances.

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5 Responses to Contentment in All Circumstances

  1. Randi Blakeley says:

    HI JIim!

    Just what i needed to here this morning! God is good!

    Randi

  2. Bob Evertsen says:

    Awesome areticle Jim. Nancy has an uncle that works with the dying that has to work and he is trying to get into it ministry full time and gets frustrated. I think I will send this to him. I know I have thought the same thing, I have so many things that I want to study but just never seem to have the time for because I work all these hours but God is blessing me because with the money I make, I can pay more tithe and help our more people. Maybe later on that will change but Praise the Lord, He is there for me right here and now.

  3. Rachel Stowe says:

    I think the argument could be made that McKissock IS your full-time ministry. Very good post, though!

  4. clarke lauffer says:

    Jim, Great words of Biblical Truth, the word nails us daily doesn’t it. The Apostle Paul lived a much more difficult and painful existence than we ever will yet he wrote the Truth, to learn to be content in whatever state he found himself in. I just get home late tonight after dinner with clients, lamenting the pressure of working two jobs, one for my living and one for my passion. The living one is a necessity as God has provided it for our daily bread, the passion one is for the sake of others and my sense of living for what really matters, souls and the Word of God. Yet both jobs intersect in at Calvary, if any man will follow me let him deny himself and pick up his cross daily and follow me. The cross is death to myself, my impressions, feelings, ambitions and sense of what I really want in life. We need to learn this lesson daily, I guess that is why Paul said I die daily. Lord forgive my focus on self and help me to see today’s real purpose is found giving thanks in everything for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Bless you Jim.

  5. Marilyn says:

    Help me find peace and contentment in you Lord.