How in the world can I be content if my heart is broken?

How in the world can I be content if my heart is broken?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

April 22, 2014: How in the world can I be content if my heart is broken? Please SHARE this new Precious Prodigal Post:

Phil 4:11 "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

Contentment…that sense of well-being where we are at ease in our minds, where we are satisfied with the way things are in our lives…at least for today. That’s not a state of mind that’s very common to those of us who love a prodigal. It’s not a common trait of anyone who is going through a tough time. But uncommon doesn’t mean impossible.

Paul didn’t exactly live the “life of Riley.” He wasn’t a stranger to adversity, and he knew what it was like to suffer when he hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he also knew what it was like to be beaten and imprisoned for doing what was right. He said he knew what it was like to both be in need and to have plenty. And he found the secret to contentment regardless of his circumstances. (Phil 4:12)

While he knew that he could do “all things through Christ, who strengthened [him],” (Phil 4:13), he also did some practical things that helped him keep the right perspective. Two of those things were praying and being thankful, and both those things are extremely important. In fact, they’re vital if we’re going to have peace.

However, Paul also had a disciplined thought life, and he challenged the believers at Philippi to follow his example. Paul made a very detailed list of things we can focus on…things that are true and noble and right. He added things that are pure, lovely, admirable or excellent or worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

You must be kidding me! How in the world can I even look at things like that when my life is in turmoil, my heart is in shreds, and my entire life is falling apart? I’m sitting here devastated by life and without hope, and you’re telling me to discipline my thought life? Really? Are you telling me that will change anything?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. Most of the terrible things that happen in our lives are totally out of our control. It might be a diagnosis that terrifies us. It might be the husband who walked out the door, or it may be the prodigal who is breaking our hearts. In almost every circumstance that can come into our lives, the only control we have is how we respond or react to it.

No matter how much we like to believe we can multi-task, the truth is we can only focus our minds on one thought at a time. If you and I choose to focus on the fears, the hurts, the disappointments, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re walking around with a dark cloud over our heads like Eeyore.

I’m not trying to tell you that taking charge of your thought life will change your situation. In fact, it almost certainly will not. However, I guarantee it will change your perspective and give you back your peace. And isn’t that what we desire more than anything else? It’s why I write my gratitude list every single night. It doesn’t change anyone’s attitude but my own. But then mine is the only attitude I can change anyway, isn’t it?

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, take charge of your thought life? Can you choose to focus on what’s good?

© 2014 Precious Prodigal

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