Parent Category: Literature
Written by Ted Camp
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, herewith to be content.
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.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth (enables) me”
-- Philippians 4:11-13.
How many contented
Christians do you know? Is it possible to be content? Are you born with contentment? Contentment is a choice. Contentment must be learned
. Paul was not content
in Corinth. “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired
even of life” (II Corinthians 1:8). One of the greatest needs is for Christians to learn to respond correctly
to trials, circumstances, and troubles. It is easy to be a good Christian on the mountaintop. The roads to success
are traveled down the same path. As Yogi Berra said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”
One lady said, “When I feels good, I feels bad, because I knows I am going to feel bad again.” As a Christian, you need to learn to change
at the different stages
and trials of life. Trials will come and they can either make you or break you. If you do not change
, then the trials will change you. Some become bitter. Don’t become bitter, but become better. Don’t Stay In One Area Too Long
- Paul learned that he needed a break and rest from his daily struggles. Notice the word “both
.” Paul learned both
from being abased
from being full
and to be in want.
You need to take times of abounding after much abasing. Paul learned that he could do all things
through Christ which strengthened (enabled)
him. As problems arose, Paul, with God’s help, was able to overcome. It is not what happens to you, but what happens within
you that makes the difference. As Paul, learn
to be content in all things
. Know you limits
. Know your strengths
and know your weaknesses
. Learn to pace your life
so you can learn
contentment. Notice Paul had times of refreshing
him. He knew his human limits
. He limited
his time in the areas that drained
him. Everyone has troubles; why should you be an exception
? No one can continually be content when all they experience is the things that drain them. You also need times of refreshing
, times of being full
. You need to learn to pace your life so you do not experience too many things
you. You can control your life.
What Refreshes You? What Drains You?
” is used three
times. “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. I can do all things
through Christ which strengtheneth (enables)
Paul knew what refreshed him and what drained him. He needed times of refreshing
to offset times that drained him. Not even Paul could continually remain in the things that drained him. When he was abased
then he chose a time to abound
. When he was empty
then he chose to take time to be full
. He was able to do all things as the Lord strengthened or enabled him to do it. Paul knew both
his spiritual and physical limits.
What Refreshed Paul?
Friends refreshed Paul.
“And Julius courteously entreated Paul,
and gave him liberty to go unto his friends
to refresh himself”
“That I may come unto you with joy
by the will of God,
and may with you be refreshed.
Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” --Romans 15:32-33.
“For they have refreshed my spirit and yours” --I Corinthians 16:18.
“The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me”
--II Timothy 1:16.
“the saints are refreshed by thee, brother”
“because his spirit was refreshed by you all” --II Corinthians 7:13.
What Drained Paul?
“I am more; in labours ...stripes ...prisons ...deaths oft ...five times received I forty stripes save one...Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (II Corinthians 11:23-28).
Paul knew both what refreshed him and what drained him.
Name Some Things That Can Refresh You!
Fishing - golf - quiet times - shopping - ooking - walking - cold tea
reading - talking to a friend - oing to a restaurant - playing games
being with children or grandchildren.
Name Some Things That Refresh You _________________________________
Name Some Things That Can Drain You!
Problems - strife - discipline - debt - orry - world situation
politics - ontinual struggles - weight - daily grind.
Name Some Things That Drain You ____________________________________
Can Christians Become Weary?
Yes! You can become drained and weary in serving the Lord. “And let us not be weary (drained) in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Notice it says “weary in well doing.” This means you can become weary in doing good things for God. There can be times when you don’t feel like going to church, praying, or reading your Bible. During these times learn to avoid things that drain you. Don’t make any life-changing decisions when you are weary. When you do become drained then change your routine, devote your time to those things that refresh you. Don’t let life control you.
Seek Refreshing Times
Seek refreshing times to be alone with God. Let God help you. Take time to do things that refresh you. Replace negative thoughts with good thoughts that will refresh you. You need to process the bad to become good. When you are in control, you will realize that things are not as bad as they seem. You just needed to change your thought patterns. You need to filter your problems so the in-negative can become an out-positive.
Do not continually record only the negative things in your mind. When a battery is drained, it needs to be recharged. Let the Lord refresh and recharge you. Put away the things that drain you. As Paul, seek times of refreshment.
“...but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things
are true ...honest ...just ...pure ...lovely ...
of good report ...think on these things”
There Are Times When You Need To Be Refreshed
Remember, it is not what happens to you, but in you that makes the difference. When you are drained, you must seek a time and place to be spiritually refreshed. You will become revived to again face the struggling world. The peace of God will rule in your mind and heart.
Do you need a time of refreshing?
Do you need a new beginnings?
Do it now!