Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 3 to Contentment: Courage (Why Paul was NOT a Scaredy Cat)

Philippians 1:20
20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Courage.  That is the definite theme of day three of contentment: because it is courage that gives us the strength and power to move forward in times where the temptation is to cease, and it is courage that allows us to look ahead even when this moment is all that can be seen.

Paul was a man of courage.  Courage in his life, but even more so, courage in his death.  Courage that stemmed from the fact that this life was not the end of the road, but only just the beginning.  Courage that understood that though this world may fail him, there was a God who never would.  Courage that believed that the joys of this world were nothing in comparison to what was to come.  And that the suffering of this day would soon be drowned out by the beauty of the days to come. 

Because he always knew there was more to this life, Paul was able to really live.  Ironic, isn't it?  When you can see this life as just the journey toward the final destination, all of a sudden things look brighter.  All of a sudden you feel stronger.  All of a sudden the glimpse of the eternal erases the woes and worries of the temporal.  And you find yourself filled with an unexplainable strength.  Unfathomable joy.  Unexpected contentment.  

This is true courage.  The ability to live this life, content in the face of whatever comes our way...content because we see this life as but a moment in the scope of forever. 

May God grant us the ability to see past that which is temporal and look toward the eternal.  May He give us the grace to remember that this world really is not out home.  And may He give us the courage to live this life to its fullest- realizing that death is only the door to our final destination.

“Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee” -St. Augustine

Follow along on our journey to contentment: 
Day 1:  Confidence

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