November 26, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.”—1 Corinthians 7:17–24 (NIV)
Recently, Gallup polled people around the world about their happiness and wellbeing. What did they find? Unhappiness. The number of people who felt they had the worst possible life was almost 10% (0 out of 10 rating in the life satisfaction scale) with a majority of the people polled sitting around a 4 or 5. In addition, 85% of people were unhappy with their jobs. What does this mean? Most of the world is discontented with their circumstances and life.
Now, this isn’t to minimize anyone’s struggles or feelings regarding their circumstances. Personally, I know how often I drift into looking at my life and feeling like it’s not good enough, like I don’t have enough, feeling unseen, undervalued, anxious, and lacking, and I’ve been a believer for most of my life! So, if you’re anything like me, if you’re struggling with contentment in your circumstances, thinking you’re missing out on something or that if you just had a little more of _______ or did ___________ or changed your ________, then things would change and you’ll feel so much better, the truth of satisfaction, purpose, and identity isn’t that simple.
In today’s passage, Paul tells us that “each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them.” Uncircumcised when you receive Jesus? Stay that way. A slave in the Roman Empire? “Don’t let it trouble you.”
What I’m trying to get across is that no matter what season you’re in—whether you’re married or single, divorced, widowed, or remarried, a CEO or an entry-level worker, a prisoner or a prince, living in mansion or in poverty, part of a racial or ethnic minority or majority, male or female—God will work in your life right where you are!
Instead of thinking you need to change your season, that you need to uproot your life and circumstances in order to experience His calling, purposes, plans, will, and work in your life, bloom where you’re planted—walk in intimacy and relationship with the Lord in the place you are right now. Does this mean you should not work hard to lift yourself out of poverty? No! That’s why Paul says to the slave, “If you can gain your freedom, do so.”
If you can get a promotion, go for it. Working to save up and buy a house? Do it. Feeling called to move, start your own business, get married, have kids, or step into ministry? Follow the calling of the Lord wholeheartedly! But don’t think for one second the Lord cannot and will not work in your life, sanctify you, be enough for you, or use you to advance His kingdom unless you change your life situation. This is also a warning of the danger of thinking someone else’s life is better and more fulfilling simply because of their different station in life (the grass is greener mentality).
So, by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you, bloom where He’s planted you, friend! Abide in Him, rest in Him, know Him deeply and daily and I promise He will bring contentment, peace, identity, joy, satisfaction, and purpose. If He’s called you to stay where you are, walk in that calling knowing that the secret of contentment is that “[You] can do all this through him who gives [you] strength” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).
Note: If you have a job where you feel like you’re sinning by doing the job (perhaps you were a sex worker when you received Jesus or are constantly asked to commit fraud, participate in illegal or sinful activities, or anything else like that ), please know that is not what Paul is referring to here. That is totally different and you should do your best to remove yourself from situations like that. If you’re stuck in a spot like this, please reach out to us because we want to help you!
Pause: What does this passage teach us about contentment, calling, and life? How does this differ from what the world teaches us?
Practice: Contentment in circumstances, seasons, and stages of life isn’t dependent on those factors, but on Christ alone! Today, do a few things: 1) Pray and ask the Lord to help you to be satisfied with the life and season He’s given you, to say, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say ‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.’” 2) Ask Him to help you see how He wants to use you and grow you and sanctify you where you are. 3) Commit to spending time in prayer and in the study of the Word at least four days per week. 4) Listen to the song “It Is Well” once per day this week.
Pray: Father, You are my strength, my joy, my hope, my peace, and my salvation. In Your love, I am whole, satisfied, and complete. All sufficiency and satisfaction come from the grace You pour out over me daily. Without You, I can endure nothing, and I can do nothing. I am nothing. Thank You, Jesus, for being my all in all, for revealing Yourself to me, and for the faith You give me to walk with You in all things. Help me to walk in this truth right where I am and find contentment daily with the life and season You have provided for Your glory and Your wonderful purposes and plans. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.