Christmas is over, the snow has gone – at least for a while – but winter is still very much with us. Floods have occurred in Australia, Sri Lanka and Brazil with many lives lost and thousands made homeless. Nearer home the financial crisis is getting worse and the cuts are starting to bite.
So what does the future hold? The apostle Paul gives us some good advice. Paul had suffered much as he proclaimed the good news of the gospel. He had been beaten within an inch of his life, thrown in prison and given up a bright future within the Jewish hierarchy. But he had learned to be content in all circumstances.
Paul knew that the trials and problems of this world fade into insignificance when we put them in the context of eternity. The problems of today are still painful and disturbing, but they will pass as surely as we will pass from this world and our Savior will welcome us into paradise.
Paul told his young friend Timothy that godliness with contentment is great gain. We brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it, but what we do here and now will settle our eternal future. Paul knew he belonged to Jesus Christ and nothing could change that. So he was content, no matter what happened to him. Contentment came from his relationship with God, his relationship with his friends, and the love of Christ and others. So this year be content with what you have and wherever you are, because if you have Christ in your heart you have everything that truly matters. Godliness with contentment is great gain!