A New Perspective

(Learning Contentment)

by guest blogger Vanessa Vannoy

Y’all- I want to introduce you to my guest blogger and friend Vanessa Vannoy. I first met Vanessa in 2012 when I moved to Paris. I was thrilled to find a Bible study where about 20 or so women from around the world met weekly to learn more about the Bible and what it said about how to do life. Vanessa was our faithful Bible teacher and leader. I knew right away we would be friends. Her smile was infectious, and her love for people was apparent. I know you will enjoy what Vanessa has to say.

As we drove home I was peering through my new lenses with a sense of awe. Everything felt brighter, crisper, clearer. I was in middle school and had just gotten glasses for the first time. I had no idea how much I had missed out on without corrective lenses. It was like seeing the world from a whole new perspective.

Many times in my life, I’ve had an encounter with God that shifted my perspective in some way, leading me to look around in awe and wonder as if seeing in a new light things that had always been true. Since I was a teenager, I have been drawn to the verses in Philippians 4:11-12, when the apostle Paul says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

The fact that contentment is something Paul says he has learned has been encouraging to me. My default way of living is not always one of contentment – but I want it to be! It gives me so much hope that contentment is something I can learn. As I’ve prayed for more contentment over the years, I have seen the Holy Spirit work in my life and grow me in this area.

Sometimes I have been deceived into believing that my circumstances needed to change for me to be more content, but Paul clearly says that contentment is not based on circumstances. Paul experienced hunger, need, persecution, desertion, and imprisonment, but still, he says, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Paul’s declaration of having learned contentment follows a passage in which he exhorts us to three things that, when practiced, can be like spiritually putting on corrective lenses: Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4), Present your requests to God with thanksgiving (Phil 4:6), and Set your mind on and practice that which is of God – whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise (Phil 4:8-9)

These practices are like “glasses” that shift our perspective and result in us experiencing “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). I believe that Paul’s practice of these is key to how he learned to be content in any and every circumstance. When I practice these, and they become habits in my life, I experience greater peace and contentment.

Spending time with God each day, rejoicing in him, presenting my requests to him, being thankful, and fixing my thoughts on the things above serve as a prevention against discontentment in my life. When I find myself grumbling and complaining, if I stop and practice these things, my perspective can shift, and I can learn, like Paul, to be content in any and every circumstance. Sometimes the learning process feels really slow, and it definitely isn’t a straight path.

By God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s work in me, my perspective continues to shift, and I am learning to be more and more content.


Which practices do you find the most challenging in this season of life? How have you seen practicing one of these shift your perspective and lead to greater peace and contentment when facing a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one practical way to implement one of these practices in your life this coming week.

Meet Vanessa:

Vanessa Vannoy is the Children’s and Discipleship Pastor at her church and the Development Coordinator at Impact France. She has a deep love for the French people and France, where she served as a missionary for seven years. Her passion is to equip and empower people to know Jesus and live fully devoted to him. Vanessa enjoys exploring, traveling, playing board games, having deep conversations, and studying God’s Word. Follow Vanessa on Instagram @vanessa.vannoy and on Facebook at https://facebook.com/vanessavannoy.

3 thoughts on “A New Perspective

  1. Vanessa- I loved what you had to say. Thank you so much for being a guest blogger! Blessings!


  2. This has been my daily longing and prayer to see things through Gods perspective! I’m learning! It is a process…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: