written by Paul Ushijima
The other day I was with a pastor who was relating the joy and challenges of ministry. He told me that he sometimes talks to graduated GOC’ers who struggle spiritually and comment that they cannot find the discipleship and accountability they want in their local church. He asked me what I would say to them.
Behind this issue can be a lack of contentment. Contentment is a characteristic modelled for us by both Jesus and the Apostle Paul (Phil. 4:11-13) as examples for us.
The contentment we are to pursue is based in an unshakeable trust in God. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” This passage reveals several truths which bolster our trust in God:
Pursuing contentment is further helped by considering God’s provision and plan for each of us, some important pieces of which are discussed in the “The Armor of God” from Ephesians 6:10-17. As we study this passage, we realize that this “armor” is not something we find or make, it is “of God”–provided by Him–every piece of it. God provides it to us so that we can each “stand firm” in the circumstances in which He places us.
As you study this passage and metaphorically put on the Armor of God, recognize that “standing firm” has a far greater impact than our personal well-being…it enables effective worship and ministry that is not limited by circumstances. Ephesians 6:18-20 identifies some specific areas expressly and by implication:
God has sovereignly provided to each of His people what they need to not only be content but also to spiritually prosper, serve, and advance His Kingdom despite individual circumstances. Praise the Lord!
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