2 Corinthians 12:10 - For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So far on our journey to contentment, we have discovered several things. First, contentment is learned. Contentment is a commitment of the mind. It is demonstrated through actions and it requires preparation. I was tempted to not write on the topic today in fear that it was getting monotonous, but then I realized, no one has to read this and I am still learning. :)
This particular verse I write on stuck out to me today during my personal Bible study. It struck me, not because Paul states that he is content in such wretched situations. No, what caught my attention was the verb Paul uses in order to state his contentment. He does not declare that he is simply self-sufficient. Rather, he uses the verb that indicates that he is well-pleased that these circumstances are happening. This is the same verb that God uses to refer to Jesus at his baptism when he says, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased." (Matt. 3:17)
The reason why I find this so remarkable is because Paul takes contentment to the next level. It is not simply enduring or acting in light of circumstances, but rather it is taking DELIGHT in those circumstances. The reason for this is for the sake of Christ. Never once in Paul's discussion of calamity or contentment does his focus waver from Jesus. That is the reason why Paul has the hope that he has. It is the reason why he has the attitude he has. He realizes that it is through his own weakness that God's power is able to shine through and therefore he triumphs under pressure.
The challenge now is to turn our attitudes and our actions from merely treading water to triumphing where God has placed us. We do this by realizing that God's grace is sufficient and His power is perfect (2 Cor. 12:9). The reason why we do this is for the sake of Christ.
For more information on this passage, please see my post "The Gift of the Thorn and the Gift of Grace."