A Report on Africa Arise Conference & AU's Prayer Breakfast for African Heads of State (January 24-30, 2017). By Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD Just in case you miss the thrust of my report, this is what I want to say: “Success without a successor is failure. True leaders train others to succeed the...
|Contentment & Gratitude||| Print ||
[Dr. Pipim's Thanksgiving Devotional, November 2015]
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend” (Melody Beattie). The key to gratitude is contentment. For a contented heart is a grateful heart. And a heart full of gratitude is a fountain from which life’s richest blessings flow.
This fact is evidenced in the life of Fanny Crosby (1820 –1915), one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. Though blinded for life at the age of 6 weeks (through the incompetence of a doctor), Fanny Crosby resolved to be content with her state. When she was only 8 years, she composed this rhymed poem:
“Oh, what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot nor I won't.”
“I am resolved that in this world contented I will be.” That was the secret. And what was the result? Her contentment blessed the world with more than 8,000 uplifting hymns. They include the following favorite hymns: “All The Way, My Savior Leads Me” “Blessed Assurance” “Praise Him, Praise Him!” “Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!” “He Hideth My Soul (A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord)” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” “To God Be the Glory.”
Indeed, a contented heart is a grateful heart, and a heart of gratitude is a fountain from which life’s richest blessings flow. Do you want to develop a heart of gratitude, a heart that is at peace and which gives thanks to God “in EVERYTHING” (Philippians 4:6, 7), then learn to be content. The apostle Paul continued:
“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
“I have learned … to be content.” Contentment is learned behavior. We learn to be content. We must make a deliberate effort to cultivate or develop a heart of gratitude and contentment. But how? Exactly how do we learn that? For some insights, we turn to a contemporary of Fanny Crosby (1820 –1915)--another remarkable Christian author who has blessed the world with her published works. In her book Steps to Christ, pp. 122, 125, E. G. White (1827-1915) writes:
Reflect again on all the “tender mercies” listed above: "the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed."
Contentment is developed when we remember God's goodness and cultivate the habit of counting our blessings day by day. A forgetful heart is discontented and ungrateful. This is why King David urges us to not forget all the blessings God has bestowed upon us:
A forgetful heart is discontented and ungrateful. May the Lord help us to remember to count our blessings but day by day--not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day. For, as stated in this week's thought nugget, there’s ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
[The above devotional was my reflection on Thanksgiving, November 2015. For more devotional messages and sermons, visit www.EAGLESonline.org/resources/]