The holidays can be a time of pressure without us realizing it. With Black Friday happening and Christmas coming around the corner, we may feel the need to shop. The shopping hype has caused many to get into debt or feeling that they are missing out when shopping isn’t feasible. Saying no to shopping and possessions doesn’t have to be hard when our contentment is found in Christ. It’s ok to say no.
Saying no to shopping has been a hard thing for me to learn this year.
I had to stop my old shopping habits with the circumstances that my husband and I are currently at. However, with all the shopping hype that has been going on, I found myself in despair from missing out on shopping.
The truth was I couldn’t accept the fact that I wasn’t able to spend as much as I used to.
As I prepared for alone time with Jesus, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper into my heart, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.”
I was reminded of Philippians 4:12 which says, “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.”
This verse reminded me that not only do I have to learn to accept the conditions of my life, but that I can find contentment in every situation that I am in. Just as Paul went through seasons of plenty and in lack, we too will face circumstances where we cannot always live as we used to live.
Whether we have more than enough or just enough, we can always find contentment in Jesus. Contentment is found as we focus on His love and goodness towards us.
Our no’s in life don’t have to deprive us of joy. When our joy comes from Christ alone, nothing can strip our joy away. Focus on His goodness and remember the love that He showed us on the cross. He loved us so much that He died on the cross and rose again so that we could have everlasting life with Him. His love overwhelms us to a place of satisfaction that no other can bring.
God changed my perspective and showed me that I didn’t have to shop in the first place. Instead of seeing my situation from a place missing out, I started giving thanks to God that I didn’t have to shop because I had more than enough from Him already.
As I found contentment in Christ, saying no to shopping wasn’t a big deal. Whatever struggle you may be facing, know that you can say no and still be satisfied in Christ.
Right after Paul says “I know how to be abased and I know how to abound”, he says in verse 13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Paul learned the secret to contentment which is Jesus.
When we are in Christ we are never missing out on anything. We don’t need certain titles, possessions, fame, or money to be content. Christ alone becomes enough. In Him, we have all that we need. He gives us strength when we are weary and provides all that we need.
We must focus our eyes on Jesus and not let the desires of this world pull us away from him. 1 John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.“
We can easily talk ourselves into believing that we need that certain car, house, or possession by what we see around us, but we must remember that the only thing we truly need is Jesus.
All of us would be ok without shopping if Black Friday never existed. We all would be fine without fancy cars if we never saw them. Possessions last temporarily, but Jesus and His word will last forever. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
It’s ok to have possessions, but it should never be our source of joy. Nothing in this world will ever be enough. Only Jesus satisfies.
Where are you looking for contentment? Is Jesus your destination for satisfaction?
If you are in a place where you feel tested and stretched, run to Jesus. Don’t let your place of lack pull you away from seeing God’s goodness. His goodness is what will lead us to satisfaction. It’s when we fail to recognize His goodness that will cause us to look elsewhere for satisfaction. The enemy will try to pull our focus on our circumstances and make us feel that Jesus is far, but if we choose to look for Jesus we will find Him wherever life takes us.
His presence is always with us no matter what we face. It’s not a matter of if God is with us, but if we can see Him.
Contentment is found as we center our attention to Jesus. Saying no to the things of this world can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Look to Christ in every situation and you will see His faithfulness. So remember, it’s ok to say no.
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