Daily Devotional 3-26-20

TRANSCRIPT

Hi everyone. It’s good to be back with you. Let’s take a few moments to encourage one another with some thoughts from God’s Holy word about contentment. 

The apostle Paul shares in Philippians 4:11-13 “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

You know, as I was reading this passage recently, I was reminded of the powerful hymn of praise that perhaps you recognize and it’s called “Now Thank we all our God.” It was written in 1644 by a young German reform pastor named Martin Rinkart and many of you perhaps remember the uplifting opening phrase now, thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices who wondrous things have done in whom his world rejoices.

Amazingly, Rinkart wrote the words of this powerful hymn in 1644 during the 30 Years War in Europe. This particular war was one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The losses were absolutely staggering. Nearly 20% of the German population perished not just from military engagements, but also from the plague that was ravaging the land.

Pastor Rinkart himself conducted funeral services for 5,000 residents of the town of Eilenburg, where his church was at, and that included the funeral of his own wife, sadly. Can you imagine the fear and the heartbreak among the people of his church in town during this time?

But despite all that was going on around him and the adversity that Rinkart faced in his ministry, he was still able to see the hand of God at work around him. Notice, especially the words of stanza two of this powerful him. They’re almost prayerlike.

He says, “Oh, may this bountiest God through all our life, be near us with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us. And keep us in his grace and guide us, wind perplexed and free us from all ills in this world. And the next.”

You know, I’m convinced that Martin Rinkart understood the secret of contentment that Paul talks about in Philippians 4 and that is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

So whatever fears you and I might be facing today, doubts, illnesses, financial or job loss, we have the confidence that the riches of Christ and his grace sustains us during these difficult times. Let me invite you to pray with me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your protection and care. We’re thankful for the many ways you provide for us. Thank you for the riches we have in Christ Jesus, your Son who died for our sins and gives us the hope of eternal life. Thank you for the confidence that pastor Rinkart had in the midst of adversity. And so Lord, give us that confidence today ourselves gives us strength. We ask this through Jesus Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.