Summary: A sermon about the providence of God as discovered in the life of Paul.
Acts 16:7-8 KJV After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.  And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE CHALLENGE OF CONTENTMENT
-One of the most challenging spiritual battles that many face in our generation is that gnawing unsettling feeling of discontentment. It seems that after a while their new toys, new jobs, new cars, new homes, and new clothes all become much less valuable to them.
-If we are not careful, the beast of “more” can rule our lives in such a way that we are never content with the blessings of God. The insatiable hunger for more can choke out all of the potential that God has for us in any situation.
The story is told of a young man who wanted to be a physician and so he spent much of his high school days and early college years preparing for a career in medicine. He took the most challenging classes and the most difficult professors to prepare him to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). For whatever reason he did not have the money to continue his education and had to drop out of school and then he was drafted into the Army to fight in World War II. He spent the rest of his life feeling cheated and was constantly voicing his disappointment to anyone who would listen to him. His chance bypassed him and now his life is filled with regret.
-This young man is not alone. There are many people in life that set their sights and goals on a particular thing and in the end did not achieve whatever it was that they wanted to do. They live out lives of bitter disappointment and rancor but it would do us well to remember that if we could ever start seeing our places in life was the spot where God has placed us it would serve vast dividends to our spiritual wellbeing.
-Contentment is one of best blessings that God has offered to us. Although I have to clarify that contentment is not complacency or laziness. Contentment is determining to be what God wants you to be in the place where He has placed you.
• He knew the challenges before you got there.
• He knew the limitations of resources before you got there.
• He knew the difficult people you would face before you got there.
• He knew of the spiritual attacks you would be under before you got there.
-But He still put you in that place of service for a reason.
A. Jules Levy—The World’s Greatest Cornet Player
Jules Levy has been cited by many as the world’s greatest cornet player but the path he took to it was long, arduous, disappointing but he chose not to let his surroundings drag him down. He was born in 1838 in extreme poverty. When he was twelve years old he came into the ownership of a cornet mouthpiece. For the next five years, he pleaded and begged with his father to buy him a cornet but his father simply could not afford it.
One day they were at an auction and Jules saw a cornet that was moving toward the auctioneers block. It was in terrible condition with its finish almost totally burnished, had dents all over it and the valves were constantly sticking. His father managed to get it for fifteen shillings (about $3) which was almost a giveaway. The normal price for a low-end cornet in the 1840’s was around $50 and Jules now had one that only cost $3.