We live in a violent age. There are wars occurring in many countries, we have various accounts of shootings in our own western societies, and movies frequently depict violence and crime which is passed off as "entertainment". Our children and grandchildren can have violent games to play on various electronic devices.
There seems to be an appetite for murder, torture, explosions, destruction, shooting and so on, even in peace loving countries. If anyone could look in on our world from the outside, they would certainly believe we are addicted to brutality and violence.
In the time of the apostle Paul and the early church, violence was frequently directed against the followers of the Prince of Peace. Today, in some countries in the near east, you can be put in jail for worshipping Jesus. Many Christians in western societies know of believers in certain countries being murdered just because they believe in Jesus.
In the verses preceding our text, Paul listed a number of horrific things that had occurred, or might occur to him, in his lifetime here. He spoke of things like famine, persecution, rulers, death. We wonder how anyone could say this, but as we know, he had gone through dreadful trauma prior to writing these words.
Remember that it is only as you make Jesus your supreme treasure that you can weather the storms that come in this life. We need to grow spiritually until we can say with the Psalmist in Psalm 73:25 (NIV) "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you."
In Proverbs 15:16 (NIV) we read, "Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil."
Stifle covetousness and cultivate contentment, realizing the Lord is your great treasure. This is the heart of contentment. We have the Lord, that is enough. May that be said of all my readers today.
The bride eyes not her garment but her dear bridegroom's face
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land.