Have you ever been in a funk and can’t really figure out why? Your life is going well, no major issues to be concerned about. Maybe you have a few things that you need to get done or a few stressors here or there, but nothing too life-threatening. You try to figure out what the problem is. I find myself in that situation at this very moment. The word that keeps coming to my mind is “contentment.” Paul shares some of his story in Philippians about his ups and downs of life. He culminates the summary by saying, “… I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11 (ESV). Paul had been through a lot in his life; heavenly spiritual highs with his intimate relationship with Christ and bringing the good news to most of the known world, physical lows with shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments (yes plural of each) and even relational rejection. Yet he was willing to LEARN how to be content. This is a great challenge and reminder for me as I go through my own life. Not every day is a vacation day; not every day is a payday. There are dishes to do, kids to take care of, bills to pay, work to be done, but whether we are high or low, we can always learn to be content.

Many live by the mantra, “I’ll be happy when.. I’ll be happy if…” I would like to expose that lie for what it is. If you can not find ways to be happy in your current circumstance, you will not find happiness in the thing or person that is currently the object of your focus. Happiness and contentment come from making a choice. Do what you can to live your best life, but when daily life gets boring or circumstances cannot be changed, you have the power to choose happiness and joy. Paul continues his letter and pens the very often quoted verse that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. I would like to propose that this verse often gets misquoted to mean that we can do everything and anything we want as long as we attach Jesus’ name to it, but when read in context, Paul is talking about facing, enduring and finding contentment in any of life’s situations including prison (which is where he was when he wrote this letter, by the way). That brings new meaning to the verse in my opinion.

So, as I finish writing this and plan to get back to my students, I will remember that my joy and happiness comes from my relationship with God through Christ; that I have joy because I have a relationship with the Creator of the universe who sees me, knows me, loves me and is my source of joy.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11b (ESV)

If you need more encouragement with contentment and the inexplicable “funk”, check out this video that I was inspired to create in 2020.

Get out of that funk!

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