All. It’s a rather large word don’t you think. Sure it is small in stature but gargantuan in meaning. This word with only three letters is a bit nonexclusive, meaning: there is not one thing it doesn’t include. Everything is included. You can’t pull out an example that doesn’t fit within its borders. ALL is included within the word “all.” So what does it mean for our lives when Scripture proclaims the following doozies?
Philippians 4.11: …I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
James 1.2-3: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
1 John 1.4: And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
Ephesians 6.18: …praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…
Philippians 4.4: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Could it be that WHEREVER we are, in EVERY circumstance, at ALL times, in ALL places, there is to be joy, contentment, praise, rejoicing, and prayer flowing through our lives? YES! In the height of the most difficult circumstance, joy should abound! In the wake of the most tragic situation, praise and rejoicing!
“This seems hardly possible!” I hear you exclaim. YES! Exactly! It is absolutely impossible in our own strength and power. It is only possible and available when we are sourced and governed by Jesus. As He lives and flows through our lives, He becomes our JOY, He becomes the essence of our PRAISE and REJOICING, we live in a continual communion and intimacy with Him in prayer. Oh what a blissful thought! To realize that it is actually possible to be content in EVERY place and ALL circumstances – but only in the flow of Jesus in our lives.
A Dr. Holden once said, “Circumstances have proved to be not hiding places from God, but meeting places with God.” Could this be true? Rather than seeing every trial, problem, pain, and bump in the road to be by the “harsh hand of God” or worse to use them as an escape from His intimate love and presence – would you begin to see every circumstance, trial, and tribulation as a push closer to Jesus, an encouragement (often forced) to cling to Him all the tighter, to allow Him to be Lord and King in every and all areas of your life?
May we not only be content in whatever comes our way, let us live every moment in full dependency and oneness with the King of kings and Lord of lords in the fullness of joy and praise!