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Don’t Give Up On The Year Yet

Do you remember New Year’s eve? The buzz, the palpable excitement, the joys. Do you remember at 11:59 pm when it seemed like the whole world collectively drew in their breath in eager anticipation of the new year? 2020 would be the start of a new decade. A new year and also a new beginning; a fresh opportunity to achieve goals and prosper.

I still remember talking to some of my mentees and friends about the plans they had for the next year. How big they were, how impossible the goals seemed. Yet, a faint optimism persisted, many believed this would indeed be their year and were ready for it.

In light of recent events, a different image has emerged. I’m now aware of many who have already given up on the year. Many who look at their goals with contempt believing it’s too late to achieve or too late to have the best year ever because of recent events. In a sense, they are right. External events have been unprecedented and have shocked global life. The Coronavirus has changed societies forever. However, as Christians, our fortunes should never be so externally defined. Just because there is fear and pessimism on the outside does not mean it should be on your inside. In fact, the Bible speaks at length about the temperament of Christians in times of hardship. We are to be wide-eyed, optimistic and full of hope.

In an article in Time Magazine,2008, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs wrote in an almost prophetic manner about the type of issues that would plague humanity in her future and now our present. She wrote

‘The defining challenge of the 21st century will be to face the reality that humanity shares a common fate on a crowded planet. We have reached the beginning of the century with 6.6 billion people living in an interconnected global economy producing an astounding $60 trillion of output each year. Human beings fill every ecological niche on the planet, from the icy tundra to the tropical rain forests to the deserts. In some locations, societies have outstripped the carrying capacity of the land, resulting in chronic hunger, environmental degradation and a large-scale exodus of desperate populations. We are, in short, in one another’s faces as never before, crowded into an interconnected society of global trade, migration, ideas and, yes, risk of pandemic diseases, terrorism, refugee movements and conflict.’

Just because there is fear and pessimism on the outside does not mean it should be on your inside

M.T Omoniyi

She goes on to explain “That’s why the idea that has the greatest potential to change the world is simply this: by overcoming cynicism, ending our misguided view of the world as an enduring struggle of “us” vs. “them” and instead seeking global solutions, we actually have the power to save the world for all, today and in the future. Whether we end up fighting one another or whether we work together to confront common threats—our fate, our common wealth, is in our hands.”

Her argument is simple enough. She says that one of the most important factors for world changers is that they are not cynical but they are wide-eyed and optimistic during times of hardship. It is important to note here that this message of optimism started in the bible. Believers are told to watch their thoughts, speech and behaviour especially during times of hardship. In the epistles, Paul gives the new believers guidelines to manage their conduct, speech and thoughts because it is through these domains that pessimism can set in. That address is as relevant now as ever. Let’s take a look at these domains.

Our Thoughts

Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

In this portion of scripture, Paul gives as a conceptual beacon for our thoughts should be. He says things that aren’t tangental or in some way related with the list above should be discounted. He does two things in this passage. He first confirms that it is important what Christians think about, a point he has made earlier in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Secondly, he encourages us to increase the quality of our thoughts. He encourages us here to consider carefully what we think and to address idle thoughts.

We are not to simply be careful about our thoughts, we are also to practise having better thoughts. That may sound funny, but there are deep joys attached to this. Attached to raising the quality of our meditations. A Christians mind should be guarded and optimistic. Its should be full of thoughts that are true, noble, right, our, lovely and admirable.

Our Speech.

Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The second domain naturally follows from the first. Thoughts eventually become speech and in the book of Ephesians, we learn that our speech as Christians, should follow a similar optimistic tract. We are to speak in such a way that it builds people up and that it is beneficial for those who are listening to it. This means not only should Christians refrain from unwholesome talking, but they should also do the opposite. In a time where fear can be found everywhere, Christians need to allow their speech to be conduits of hope and faith. This doesn’t mean ignoring reality or blissful ignorance. Instead, it means declaring Gods truth in the bible over what seems like uncertain terrain. Speaking to build others up and to add light to what can seem like a dark situation.

Our Behaviour 

1st Thessalonians 5: 12-28

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

This portion of scripture needs little exposition, the height of maturity here is to live in peace with each other, to be patient with everyone. We are commanded not to pay back wrong for wrong, but instead to strive to do what is good. One of the hallmarks of our generation is self-preservation. We often concerned first with me, then myself, and then I. This is especially so in a time of crisis. As resources become more scarce, people can become even more self-preserving than normal. Gripped by fear, people may become overwhelmingly preoccupied with looking after their own. In the midst of this, we are encouraged to be different. To let optimism bleed into our behaviour and conduct with each other. To reach out a hand and open our palm rather than walk around tight-fisted.

These words are important because, at this present time, optimism is in short supply. On the one hand, we are uncertain about so much regarding our future lives and on the other, we are inundated with news headlines about the bad that is happening to other people. Many are sad, fearful and lost. Optimism now would a breath of fresh air and one desperately needed. This year can still be amazing.

Should Christians obey Old Testament Laws?

This week on The Pulse Podcast we take a look an the all important issue as to whether or not Christians should obey old Testament Law.

Join the debate online by using the hashtag #ThePulse

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud: CLICK HERE

RECENT EPISODES

Coronavirus: Our Opportunity

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Many of you may be alarmed to read that COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the global Pandemic which has halted much of Global life and caused so much havoc, is being described as an opportunity. Perhaps that’s why you clicked the link; to find out if there was a biblical backing for this assertion and so see the points developed.

It is first important to understand the scale and scope of the crisis so far. Coronavirus is a new illness that can affect lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus. There is lots of information about coronavirus which can be found here (NHS.UK). The Government has asked everyone to avoid gatherings, crowded places and unnecessary travel to stop its spreading. As of the 22nd of March 2020, more than 5,000 people in the UK with COVID-19-related deaths in the UK currently at 233. Across the world, a similar image emerges, with over  319,134 confirmed cases and more than 13,697 deaths.

The crisis is causing crippling fear, panic and disillusionment as medical experts hurry for a vaccine whilst national governments consider new and extreme measures to try and save dying economies. If the fallout from the global crisis could be summed up in one word: one may say fear. Fear as families under quarantine wonder when they will be allowed out again. Fear as workers wonder where they next paycheck may come from. Fear as churches forced to close wonder how the Gospel may spread with doors shut. As we consider this fear, it may be reticent of the same kind of fear that often confronted the early church in Acts. Fear when a young Stephen was stoned to death in Acts 7:54 – 60 for believing in Jesus. Fear as Saul on a rampage persecuted the church in Jerusalem in Acts 8 1 – 4 as all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

You see crisis isn’t new. Whether you look at the first-century church or the modern church, the bride of Christ has always existed in a world gripped by fear. Persecution has always punctuated the experience of the church. Because of this, we can look into the bible to the appropriate response to the fear our world is currently confronted with.

An opportunity to manifest our faith

In a time where society seems to be singing the same song, COVID-19 presents the believer with a wonderful opportunity to sing a different song. It is a perfect time to make manifest the faith we profess. The believer should be the most balanced, the most stable, the most sane, and the most hopeful because we know where we are heading., Eternity is settled for the believer and in the face of fear, Isaiah 41:10 comes to mind where God makes the promises to his chosen people: ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ The worst thing that could ever happen to us (death), because of Gods redemptive work through Jesus, becomes the best thing.

Jesus also preaches directly about worrying and fear. He came into an unstable and unpredictable world. He lived in an agricultural society where one summer’s drought could wipe out crops for the winter. He hung out with fishermen, who might fish all night long and catch nothing to sell or bring home to family. And Jesus knew the human heart and the temptations presented by the cares of this life. So he gave his disciples some excellent instruction on worry in Matthew 6 25 – 27:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

Jesus teaches us here that worry does absolutely no good. It won’t bring in money, food, or clothing. Worry only has negative results: it chokes the word of God and distracts us from God. It is unbelief, the opposite of faith. It leads to more fear and anxiety. And the different scenarios we play out in our minds can’t prevent a single thing from happening. Besides that, most of the things we spend so much time fretting about won’t happen anyway.

We have a golden opportunity now to make our faith clear by being the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). Our disposition must be salted. That means it is so different that others are marvelled by our composure and assurance in a time where it seems foolish to be so assured. This is the time for those who have their hope in Jesus to demonstrate it by being calm, collected and assured. The kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Spirit and so it is time to show that.

Our Assignment is the same

Whether in famine or feast, our assignment as believers remains the same. This is why it is slightly jarring when Christians faced with darkness choose to retreat or cower in fear. This is the opposite of what God does, Jesus does, the Holy Spirit does and by extension, we should do.

God loved and loves to invade darkness with light. He demonstrated this when He became flesh for our sake. Jesus continued this ministry, taking His message of reconciliation across the world into some of the darkest recesses of human life. In the beatitude, He teaches us that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we too should do the same  Mathew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Christians shouldn’t think COVID-19 changes our assignment. No, the very darkness we see in the world, is the prerequisite for our shining. It is a platform for us to preach about the hope we have in glory! This crisis whilst creating fear and confusing also gives believes a wonderful opportunity to preach the Good news of Jesus Christ and to see a large number of people turn back to him. 

This is the time to show resolve, to help those who need help and to not dim out light but shine it brighter than its ever shone before! Let me know about the hope you have. 

How should Christians respond to the Coronavirus?

I’m writing this from Shanghai into the 6th week of city-wide quarantine. To add some context Shanghai has nearly 30 million people. This is just under half the population of the United Kingdom. A quarantine of this magnitude has never been seen before in human history. In itself, it is an experiment.

Having said this, today, as I write this (12th of March) no new cases have been reported. Less than 700 people have been infected and 300 of them have recovered with the rest still in the hospital. There have been 3 fatalities.

Right now, the virus is in Europe where numbers seem to be increasing at a rapid rate. I fear European are in far graver danger than I am in China. I say this because of the precautions and measures that have been taken and are able to be taken in a single-party communist nation compared to democratic, multiparty governments.

With all of this said how should a Christian respond to this new pandemic?

1. Prayer

In the face of fear Christians pray. Jesus before going to the cross prayed in Gethsemane (Matthew 25). Paul and Silas in prison ‘prayed and sang hymns’ (Acts 16). Daniel in response to a change in the law ‘prayed’ (Daniel 6). Christians in the face of danger and in the face of fear, pray. If like me sometimes you wonder how to pray appropriately in a time like this, you are not alone. Luke 11 shows the disciples were also unsure on how to pray. The format of the Lord’s prayer is to Adore God for WHO he is, confess our sins, fears, burdens, thank him for his provision and Supplicate him with our requests (this is commonly known as ACTS). Confessing our fears in times like this is imperative as it is a reminder to us of our need for deeper reliance on God and trust in who he says he is, and what he says he will accomplish. Sometimes this is a simple Mark 9:23-25 cry of “help my unbelief”. Notice how Jesus’s response was carefully measured and comforting.

2. Use the COVID-19 to explain and share the hope you have.

The Coronavirus has been provided infinite amounts of Gospel sharing opportunities. This has been and will be a time to share with friends, family and close ones the reason for the hope we have and a chance to share our assurance that God is who he says he is.

In your workplace, university and community there will be people who are struggling with fear and anxiety. Graciously be a comforting neighbour, sympathising with their fears, and maybe God will open an avenue for you to share the reason for your hope.

In the west, with the high number of elderly people, this is an opportunity for Christians to really make an impact in terms of caring for our neighbours in more practical ways.

Are there members of your church who would be helped by you delivering their shopping? Could you even go further and cook these meals for them?

Is your friend going to be bored during this time? Would sending/gifting them a book help?

Could you help clean your church building early on Saturday morning in preparation for the service? Could you help by cleaning it after?

Practically there are infinite ways that the COVID-19 virus has opened up doors and avenues to love people practically.

3. Practical Wisdom

Wisdom may dictate that you should not attend Church on Sunday. Wisdom may dictate that you refuse to go into work if instructed. Wisdom may dictate that you ‘hyper’ quarantine limiting interactions with members of your family.

But here are a few practical pointers to consider.

Christians do not act out of self-preservation but love

  • Romans 15 talks of the strong, protecting the weak. All our decisions should be made from this heart posture. As such it Is also possible to persevere in attending church etc in order to serve the weak or be served. If you are young it may even be wiser for you to stay at home and protect those older and with underlying health conditions. Such a decision would be made out of love and not self-preservation.

Christians should encourage others to prepare and respond to trouble not to worry about it 

  • Jesus constantly reminded his followers that the day of his death, their biggest fear, was coming and it ultimately came. In John 16 one of his final words he warns that they will face ‘tribulation’ but not to ‘fear as he has overcome the world.’ The greatest fear any of us should have is a life without Christ. This isn’t true if you have repented and believed and thus ultimately as we face ‘tribulation’ we can do so knowing that biggest issues, our sin, has been dealt with.  

Christians ultimately trust God

  • In conclusion, Christians are able to turn and say to God that whatever my God ordains is right and that he is good. In the end, we should be able to thank God for all he has done and is doing and will do.

There is no shame in minimising human contact. But like all decisions, we should make them prayerfully, biblically, under the guidance of church elders and in the community and network of believers.

4. Confess fears and anxieties to God

Fear is not a demon. Fear is a natural reaction to the face of danger. Anxiety over the future is not uncommon among believers of old and today. However, our response in the face of danger is telling of our understanding of who God is and what his intentions and plans for us are. Faith is an ambiguous word which in a modern sense is better translated as reliance.

To repent (turn away from self-reliance) and have faith (rely on God for our every need, thought and action), is what saves (Mark 1:15). In Matthew 6, Jesus calls for his followers to rely on God’s provision. In the Proverbs we are called to understand God’s control of all things including those under the power of Satan (Job 1, Proverbs 21:1, Romans 8:28). John Piper famously said that Satan is like a mischief monkey on a leash. He can cause damage in the world but only with the permission and under the restraining hand of God.

For Christians, this means that our hope shifts from this life to the next. For Christians, this means that if you die before getting to the end of this post you will be with the Lord (AMEN!). If you survive, you have the opportunity to be used by him for his purposes. We should be hard pressed between the two like the Apostle Paul (Phil 1:23)

In light of this truth, we can confess our fears and anxieties to a God that cares. Psalms 34 is a model of this. David seeks the Lord’s guidance and finds him willing and able to deliver him from fear.

Don’t Waste Your Life?

This was recorded at our #FOCUS2017 retreat.

SPEAKER: Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics. He is currently working on a Masters Degree in Political Science (Politics and Philosophy) – Democracy and Elections at the University of Manchester.

Mike Omoniyi is an activist, campaigner and Youth Voice advocate. He has held numerous positions including but not limited to, sitting on the National Working group and with the Cabinet office and national agencies as one of the 5 Young UK Ambassadors to the European Union. In this role, he represented 7.4 million young people in the UK in the Structured Dialogue Process where he advocated on the UK’s behalf with other EU Member states.

** In August 2015, after a missionary trip oversees Mike founded the charity ‘Our God Given Mission’ totally dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen. He now serves as the director.

** He is also a leader at Kingdom Culture in Manchester, A vibrant young adult church at the heart of Manchester part of Jubilee Church Manchester.

**In 2017 he undertook a new project, founding the Common Sense Network, the first ever 100% public funded online news network for millennials in the UK.

Follow Mike on social media

Twitter – MikeOmoniyiCS
Facebook – MikeOmoniyiCS
Instagram – MikeOmoniyiCS

Running Home

The Task

The Task is simple but the mission is challenging. on the 13th of June, a group of 30 people will be partaking in a sponsored 15 Mile run to raise money for the charity Our God Given Mission.

Where will the money go?

The money would go towards enabling the Charity to carry it’s duties such as the facilitation of online training resources for prospective missionaries to use ahead of mission trips and also the facilitation of gospel-centered events such as our annual retreats, university Q&A tours, and much more.

We are also going to be partnering with Homeless Charities in manchester to tackle the crippling issue of homelessness in Manchester

Over the last few years, you have probably seen more people living on the streets. This is because homelessness in the UK has increased in your area, in your cities, outside your pubs. More people are increasingly having to rely on food banks and levels of poverty!

There is no single reason why someone ends up being homeless, there are several factors at play, such as personal circumstances stemming from mental health, physical health issues, to issues that differentiate between men, women and the youth population. When you think of a homeless person the typical stereotype that comes to mind is of drugs and alcohol-related addictions, contrary to widely common belief only 27% have or are recovering from an alcohol problem.

Some of these factors especially come down to ‘structural’ systems that are out of their direct control. It can be build up over years and years until the final moment puts them out on the streets.

Most desire a job, to get back into a daily routine, but to do so, a home is required, the lack of affordable homes is another issue to be tackled.

It is not all doom and gloom! Some amazing charities are doing amazing work to remedy this situation. Calling on the government to change laws that disadvantage people that become homeless. Moreover, providing hostels that can help people find long term accommodation, allowing them to get an education or get a job, manage debts, address drug and alcohol problems

We want to support their work by raising awareness, motivate and mobilise young people to go out of their way to tackle this issue.

Are you satisfied in Christ?

Looking ahead to 2020, my greatest desire was to strive toward contentment in all things. Though positive, I recently found that my desire was misplaced. This is in light of discovering the biblical truth that contentment cannot be found apart from Jesus. To take a lesson from Scottish theologian Dr Sinclair Ferguson, if we seek contentment then we will never find it. This is because we do not find contentment in the pursuit contentment itself. Rather, it is found in Christ who brings us unspeakable joy and satisfaction.

Contentment is not our natural tendency

An appropriate starting point is this: contentment is not the natural tendency of man. In our natural, unregenerate, fallen state, we do not seek after God (Romans 3:11). We must firstly be born again by water and the Spirit of the Living God (John 3:1-8). Upon this occurrence, God gives us a new heart, a new nature that gradually desires God more and more by the work of His Spirit. This is promised in the prophecy concerning the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:24-28.

Once justified (declared righteous before God by the blood of Jesus), we are sanctified (made positionally holy, set apart unto God.) Sanctification is the progressive work of God in our lives that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives (see 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 2 Peter 3:18). With this being a progressive work, the flesh, and the Spirit constantly at war within us, affirming contentment is not our natural tendency. 

Consequently, we may become swept up in what ethicists and social commentators call ‘Affluenza’. This is the notion that as affluence and consumerism in the Western world becomes exacerbated, so does the desire to want more. Tim Challies writes:

‘Many of us have discovered that as our wealth and our possessions multiply, so too does our discontentment… There is an inverse relationship between how much we have and how much we are convinced we need to be content.’ Tim Challies

This was illustrated in Genesis 3. Although God supplied Adam and Eve with all they needed (Genesis 1:29-30), they were mistaken in believing that they required more to be satisfied. They had great abundance, yet still felt empty. This points toward the truth which Saint Aurelius Augustine of Hippo asserted in his classical work ‘Confessions’:

‘Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.’ St. Augustine of Hippo 

Our hearts are made for God. The human heart longs to worship someone/something; God, money, self, etc. Ignorance of this reality and seeking the utmost satisfaction outside of God denies one the possibility of becoming fully content.

This goes to the heart of the gospel: ‘the God who made us has come to redeem us and remake us, being our access route to our contentment, pleasure and satisfaction for which we were created.’ Dr Sinclair Ferguson

Contentment must be cultivated

In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.’ (NIV). The gravity of this statement can only be understood in the context of his ministry. Paul penned his letter to the Philippian church while imprisoned in Rome. He was held captive for relentlessly sharing the gospel much to the rage of the Jews and the Roman authorities. Paul’s life spoke volumes of the chastening experienced as contentment is cultivated. 

At Corinth, there was an emergence of false teachers who were rapidly gaining popularity. Paul details his credentials which set him apart from these ‘super-apostles’, this being: countless imprisonments and beatings to the point of near-death. Innumerable floggings, shipwrecks, dangers of all kinds, not to mention the pressures of overseeing and disciplining the churches he founded. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). 

Saul of Tarsus was a prolific persecutor of Christians and a wealthy Jew. This starkly contrasted his latter days where he was sustained by God’s provision and the gracious donations from the churches he founded (Philippians 4:10). Paul had experienced life at both ends of the spectrum. Having known what it meant to be both in need and having plenty, he had learned the secret to contentment (Philippians 4:12). Contentment is not circumstantial. He was a faithful steward with whatever he had, learning to submit in the will and good pleasure of God. 

Contentment is cultivated by the spirit of rejoicing

In Acts 5, the apostles were arrested in response to the attention they drew to themselves as they shared the gospel and performed many signs and wonders. Upon their release, they were ordered to cease from speaking in the name of Jesus (see Acts 5:17-40). Verse 41 reads:

‘The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering for the Name.’ Acts 5:41

The Jewish council flogged the apostles and warned them to never speak of the name of Jesus again, yet they rejoiced in their suffering, taking joy in what they viewed the highest honour of all. The key here is that they rejoiced in the LORD. Our rejoicing is not in the circumstance nor our own ability, but in God. 

‘You train yourself to be joyful, by trusting in the provision of the Lord and staying in the place of obedience.’ John MacArthur

In the Pauline epistles, the apostle encourages the churches to do exactly this. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul exhorted God’s people to rejoice, ceaselessly pray and give thanks in all circumstances.’ (v.16-18a). This was not written at a time of great celebration. Timothy had reported to Paul on the unexpected deaths which plagued the church. Nevertheless, Paul told the church to delight in God’s good pleasure; to live in peace with one another (v.12-15) and rejoice always because ‘this is God’s will for you in Christ.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18b). See also Philippians 4:4-8. 

Contentment is taking satisfaction in the loving-kindness of God

In Psalm 36, David speaks of the contrasts between wicked man and righteous God, thanking Him for his goodness toward His people. Psalm 36:7-9 reads:

‘How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.’ Psalm 36:7-9

God’s ‘loving-kindness’ encompasses his grace, mercy and love. David saw the merciful God as a place of rest and refuge for His people. The Psalmist makes known that God cares for and protects those who trust in Him as a gracious and honourable host would for anyone in his house. The fullness of God’s house is enough to satisfy anyone, offering a virtual ‘river of…pleasures’ in Him. Here is a picture of contentment which is echoed in Psalm 23. With God as his Shepherd, the Psalmist had everything he required (Psalm 23:1). 

Conclusion

So how did Paul learn to be content whatever the circumstances? The key is Philippians 4:13: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (NKJV) (Philippians 4:13).

The fullness of God’s loving-kindness is in Christ Jesus. Therefore, it is in He alone that we receive the capability to cultivate contentment and it is in He alone that contentment is found.