The Commodities of Joy, Peace, and Contentment Devotional Reading and Podcast
The best life advice I ever received was from an older patient at the end-of-life stage. The first time I entered her home it was evident that she possessed excessive wealth. Yet, I never commented on her material goods. After a month of nursing visits, she asked me to arrange my schedule so we could have tea and cookies. That afternoon, we had a pleasant time mostly discussing my nursing career and future plans. Then she began to speak about herself and disclosed that although she had a very happy marriage, she had been a widow for many years. Still, she made the decision to be content living alone.
Before I left, my patient stated, “I would like to share some secrets for living a peaceful life. Never discuss your salary, financial portfolio, financial status, or material acquisitions. When you decide to purchase a home or vehicle, do not share your intentions before the transaction, no one needs to be privy to that information. If you follow these basic rules you will leave people guessing and that eliminates jealousy and competition based on the truth. It will not stop them from discussing you, yet, whatever they say will be based on fictional lies. Finally, save for a rainy day by always being content with what you have.”
This is the best advice that anyone has given me. Although my mind was not mature enough at the time to fully understand, this is now my way of life. Yes, I really treasure my gifts of joy, peace, and contentment.
Reflect on your current lifestyle and emotional status. Do you have joy and happiness despite the external factors that always change? Sleeping well is an excellent indicator of peace of mind. Are you content with your life?
Certain behaviors indicate we desire more than we have. Are you driven and competitive? Striving to be number one and the best candidate for the promotion that brings financial perks and recognition? Are you thinking about trading in the car you’ve only had for 12 months? Focused on being the first one to possess the latest cellular or laptop upgrades, designer clothing, or other tangible items?
There is nothing wrong with setting realistic short-term and long-term goals for personal growth, but dissatisfaction with one’s life leads to the phenomenon of mind control by other people and entities. We do not intentionally throw away our joy and peace. Desiring more led to our discontentment. How did we get to this point? The driving force from the Influencers consistently keeps us agitated. Our dissatisfaction and unhappiness originate from embracing the concept that enough is never enough.
Spiritual Warfare is Designed to Steal Our Joy and Peace
Professional and Social Influencers persuade us to never be content. They promote success as the pursuit to always upgrade. We are encouraged to acquire “the best” job and tangible items. The manipulation of our minds is a highly developed strategy. Many corporations and businesses that provide consumer goods and services have at least one psychologist on their payroll along with a team of progressive, quick-wit marketers.
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The payment required for the pursuit of having an abundance of things or nothing less than a high-paying corporate position is the world’s definition of success. Embracing those concepts leads to the loss of our precious [God-given] commodities of joy and peace. We wake up and fall asleep feeling discontented. Feeling that we deserve more gives us a false sense of entitlement and causes us to lose our spirit of gratitude.
“You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both” (Matthew 6:24, The Message Bible).
The acquisition of earthly treasures and worldly success is Satan’s most effective strategy of spiritual warfare to keep us distracted. Truthfully, who feels like praying and studying the Scriptures when their mind is filled with master plans to acquire more and climb the career ladder? Nor can we sustain our relationship with Christ and prepare for eternal life when our goals are not in sync with God’s plans.
We have a community of believers in the Most-High God who are angry, anxious, worried, depressed, and physically weary because the Influencers have convinced us that we must have their definition of the best that this world has to offer.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Believers, we do not have to face the dilemmas and predicaments of our counterparts. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). The human effort of praying for Divine Intervention and practicing self-control and discipline will break the chains of bondage of chasing success and hoarding material things.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
We must fight courageously against Satan’s definition of success. Nothing that our enemy offers will restore Jesus’ gifts of joy and peace to our lives. The decision to be content with what God has blessed us with is always the best choice. With a made-up mind, prayer, and Jesus’ strength, our earthly habits and behaviors will change.
Desire the best treasures? Jesus gave the apostle John a glimpse of the heavenly beauty which is beyond what this earth can offer. Look forward to your reward of eternal life in the majestic New Heaven and New Earth.
Scripture: “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:10-11)
Prayer: God, we have lost our peace and contentment due to pursuing worldly success and earthly treasures. We need Your help to break the chains of bondage and to change our desires and behaviors. Forgive us of our sins and restore our joy and peace. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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