Lent 2024 | Day 33

By Janet Nygren
Day 33 (Friday, Mar 22)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)

Think about it.

As we’ve seen in numerous situations, Paul has learned what it means to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, embracing all kinds of suffering to know him better. By trusting Jesus again and again, he has come to know that he doesn’t have to worry about himself because God will provide somehow, and produce a resurrection moment. In fact, his secret of contentment is one such resurrection moment. Paul’s eyes are on what God is up to, not on his own material belongings.


It’s encouraging to me that contentment, and other qualities, can be learned. The learning curve is still steep, and sometimes scary, but the goal keeps me going. More than that, the God who is with me while I go down that curve keeps me going. It’s still surprising to me how many of Jesus’ disciples write about actual joy in the midst of trials and suffering, not just getting through a difficult situation. But I am slowly being persuaded to pray with Paul our theme verse, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). How about you?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help me have faith to follow where you lead.

“Jesus, do you see that wheelchair? You were right when you said that in this world we would have trouble, because that thing was a lot of trouble. But the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair.” (Joni Eareckson Tada)

  1.  Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - March 22nd, 2024 at 5:18am

Joni Erickson Tada is one of my heroines of faith. Her ministry, Joni and Friends has been a blessing. As Janet has said, learning contentment in all situations is not easy but possible. I was in a rehabilitation hospital for several months when I was 14. I learned much while I was there. The verse that Janet quoted is a prelude to the famous 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That is my life verse! Learning to be more content in all circumstances has not always been on my radar.




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