Be Happy Now

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith 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 me. (Philippians 4:11-13) 
“I’m not happy with my job. I’m not happy with my body. I’m not happy with my life.” 
It seems that at some point in our lives, we each struggle with unhappiness, a spirit of discontentment, with wanting more. I remember a couple of years ago being frustrated as I sat in my comfy living room chair, Bible open, listening to the Lord. Well, maybe it was more like talking at Him, telling Him what I wanted. 
What I wanted was to be happily married and have a family of my own. At 38, my “clock” was ticking, and I was still faithfully believing God for marriage and family. 
If God would just give me the desires of my heart, I knew I could be happy. That’s when this thought came to me: Be happy now. If you don’t learn to be happy while you’re waiting for what you want, you’ll never be happy when you get what you want. 
To be clear, happiness cannot be the sole aim of our existence. Living out my purpose by serving and loving others as Christ does is my ultimate goal. When I stop focusing so much on what I want, and focus my gaze on what God wants to do in and through me, contentment follows. 
In fact, happiness is an external indication of internal contentment. 
This realization stopped me in my tracks. The list of things I felt I needed to check off my list for me to be happy was tiring. The idea that I could choose happiness was refreshing. The first step was to embrace life exactly as it was; in other words, to be content. I counted my blessings more, started traveling, and did things that being single uniquely afforded me. Most importantly, I decided to wholeheartedly trust God. 
When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, the word he used for “content” actually means to be contented with one’s lot in life. We can spend so much energy pushing against our reality when life doesn’t turn out the way we planned it. But resisting what is, and trying to control what is beyond our control, can cause anxiety. Frustration takes over. Anger prevails. 
Instead of making the most of our circumstances, it’s easy to lament the fact that things are not where we believe they should be. 
What if we stopped pushing against what is and learned to embrace our present circumstances? 
When that shift is made, it feels like a heavy burden is released from our shoulders. It can also feel scary at first. But truly accepting where we are helps us relax and see the good God has in our present circumstances. We cast our cares, content in trusting that all things indeed will work together for our good. 
When I embraced what is, I discovered happiness greater than any I’d experienced before. Just like Paul tells us to do in Philippians 4, I made intentional choices to be content with my present circumstances—and in the lot God had given me for that season. I stopped making happiness a destination and began making it my way of journeying through life. 
Lord, help me embrace what is and live each day with thankfulness for the life I’ve been given. Give me the grace to be happy while I wait for what I want, rather than insist that I cannot be happy until I attain it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
This devotion blessed me, I needed this reminder today. I pray this devotion gives you a different perspective with regards to your current circumstances and you see the importance of choosing to be happy while you wait. Don’t allow your current circumstances do dictate your happiness. Be happy now. There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. He holds your future, trust Him. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 28:19-20

Content Can Be A Daily Battle

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 me. (Philippians 4:12-13) 
I always thought of myself as fairly content. Sure, I’m occasionally curious about what it would be like to have someone else’s level of beauty, talent, wealth or success, but it doesn’t tug me too persistently. 
Yet recently sourness has invaded my thoughts in another way. Instead of coveting what someone else has, I dwell on what I once had, once could do, once was, and I contrast that with my new realities and limitations. Self-pity lurks in the space between the things I long for and the reality I live. 
It’s hard to stay content when we see others enjoying things that we long for. But perhaps it’s even more difficult to combat the longing for things we did once enjoy and no longer can. Loss is an inevitable part of life. We may face loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of health and abilities. Living in contentment is a daily battle, whether we’re tempted to compare to others, an ideal, or our past circumstances. 
During times of significant losses, as I’ve laid down things that were precious to me, I’ve found comfort in remembering that Jesus understands loss. He set aside the glories of heaven to come to earth. Earlier in Philippians we read a description of how He “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7). 
Contentment sounds like such a deceptively mellow, easygoing word. But some days it takes fierce, stubborn courage to walk in it. For any of us facing a painful loss—job, relationship, ability, health, plans, purpose, circumstances—I pray for God to breathe the courage of gratitude into our hearts and keep nudging our focus back to Him. 
After reading this devotion I was reminded of the raw reality that we all struggle with contentment from time to time, we are flesh, no one is perfect but what I was also reminded of is how good Jesus is, He chose me. He set aside the glories of heaven for you and me. I would encourage you in those moments of discontentment that you stop and remind yourself of His goodness. Keep your mind stayed on Him, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3). You are courageous, walk with gratitude in your heart today. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Galatians 6:9

The Cure for Anxiety

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

If anyone could have been anxious about unknowns and challenges, it would have been Paul. He was shipwrecked. He was beaten. He was jailed. In his letter to the Philippian church, he encouraged his friends who also were facing unknowns, telling them, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (v. 6).

Paul’s words encourage me. Life is not without uncertainties—whether they come in the form of a major life transition, family issues, health scares, or financial trouble. What I continue to learn is that God cares. He invites us to let go of our fears of the unknown by giving them to Him. When we do, He, who knows all things, promises that His peace, “which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (v. 7).

Dear God, what a blessing to know we do not have to be anxious about anything! Remind us that we can come to You and tell You about everything. Thank You for who You are and what You are doing in our lives. Amen.

When I read this I was reminded, God cares so deeply for each and every one of us that when we face moments of anxiety we need to allow His love and care for us to ease our mind. His love is real.

Have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:1-9