Learning the secret of being content

The world tells us that we can only be content when we are healthy, successful and rich. This is thankfully not what the Bible tells us, as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12: ‘I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.’

Liz Carter explores how to learn to live with contentment in many different areas of our lives in her new book: Catching Contentment. She has a progressive lung disease, faces chronic pain and is frequently in hospital. Liz therefore offers a perspective on the topic which is very realistic and accessible to people who are facing challenging circumstances. Topics covered in the book include: being confident in our faith; facing disappointment and brokenness courageously; the power of worship and how to make contentment contagious.

One chapter that really impacted me was ‘Courageous Brokenness’. Liz explores her pain from not having being healed despite many people praying for her; on some of these occasions she was blamed and told the reason was because of her lack of faith. I found this emotional to read because we don’t know the mind of God, his ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). This means that we can’t twist God’s arm to heal someone at a particular time, also there are many instances in the Bible where Jesus healed people who expressed no faith in him (e.g., the blind man where Jesus put mud on his eyes as told in John 9:1-12). This doesn’t mean however that we shouldn’t pray for healing because God is able to do this. Also even if that doesn’t happen people can meet with God and he can minister to them. This happened to me many times when I was chronically ill, when prayed for God gave me the strength and courage to keep facing the illness and his peace that he was with me through it.

Catching Contentment has being both a blessing and a challenge to me. If you can read it I would highly recommend it, if you are unable to right now check out some of the resources listed below to explore the theme of contentment further.

Links to find out more about Liz Carter and her book: Catching Contentment:

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