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Living Inside Out
Theme of the week: How to Experience True Contentment
Monday, November 22, 2010

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Key Bible Verse: I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (Philippians 4:12) Dig Deeper: 1 Timothy 6:6-10

It's important to point out that I'm not equating contentment with happiness. Happiness is defined as "having, showing, or marked by feelings of joy or pleasure," but I don't believe Paul [in today's Key Bible Verse] is saying, "I'm feeling happy about being hungry, and cold, and suffering need." Rather he's saying that in spite of those things, "I'm content, at peace within; I'm genuinely okay with where I am in these difficult circumstances, and I'm free from dissatisfaction, anxiety, and agitation."

The outside-in approach to gaining contentment is the norm. This explains why most of us are working so hard to maneuver the circumstances of our lives into the way we want them to be. [But] outside-in is not God's way to contentment. He wants each of us to possess the contentment of which Paul writes—contentment that's unexplainable apart from God: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7, NASB; italic added).

Here's a peace, a contentment, that's not dependent upon outward factors. It's the same peace Paul discovered, and it comes from God, who works from the inside out.

—Don Cousins in Unexplainable

My Response: Someone I know who lives the truth found in today's Key Bible Verse is … What can I learn from "studying" this person's life?

Adapted from Unexplainable (Cook, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for providing for my daily needs; help me to find my contentment in you and you alone, so that I might experience the kind of peace that's unexplainable apart from you.

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