I always say that the Christian life is the “contrary” life. What I mean is, that God calls us to live a life that is totally against our nature. We are commanded to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, to hate our pride, to put others before our selves…the list goes on and on. Another reason the Lord allows trials to enter into our lives is to teach us to be content and that is not natural for us.
Philippians 4:11-13 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.
Paul said that he had to learn to be content. The Lord allowed him to experience the highs and lows of life. Good times and hard times. The Lord also gave him the strength to be content in all those situations.
The trials we face can give us an education in contentment, no matter our situation. When life is going the way we want, it is easy to have an attitude of contentment. However, when life takes a hard turn, contentment doesn’t come as easy. If we willingly accept our trials and have a realization that there is purpose in our pain, we can learn to have a spirit of contentment. The pain will still be real, however we can go through whatever state we are in, knowing that the Lord will bring us through the situation.
The hard times help to make the good times that much more enjoyable. I know there have been long seasons of trials in my own life and I would wonder when they would ever end. Then when life was much better, I would wonder when the next bad situation was going to show up. I was looking over my shoulder, so to speak, waiting for the other shoe to drop. My point is that even in the good times we can be discontented, looking for the next problem. I had to learn to enjoy life as it comes, rather than looking to future problems. They will come whether we are looking for them or not.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
It is easier to be content knowing that the Lord is with us no matter what state we are in.