(11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
(12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
(13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV) [emphasis mine]
Notice the part of the scripture in verse 12 that says that “I am instructed . . . to be hungry . . . and to suffer need.” Not only am I directed to look to God during times of plenty, but also in times of want. “I am ‘instructed‘” . . . Obviously this is a learned mindset as fulfillment in times of want doesn’t come naturally for me!
However, I must ask myself this question: If I never experienced circumstances that put me in a position to feel deprived, then how would I–in the first place–ever learn of the existence of this very important principle of contentment? Life, itself, is God’s best classroom for me. The Bible is the only textbook I need, and God uses the difficulties of trials (including what I refer to as sandpaper people) to exemplify how His Word comes to life in its application to Christian living.
I learn so much more in tests within the valley than when I’m on the mountaintop. I’m in a place right now where my heart is aching for something, but I’m giving it to God. I want Him to change those desires if it’s not His Will to answer yes to what I’m praying for. Meanwhile, I’m asking Him to help me stay serene while I’m waiting on Him🙂
What are some things in your life that you’re praying over? What desires is He asking you to lay on the altar before Him today?