The secret of contentment with what we have
Friday, April 24, 2020
Philippians 4:10-13 (NLT)
How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
All of us live in a world filled with people who live with abundance and people who lack material things. In a world where there is sin, we should not expect something different. Life is not always about a box filled with delicious chocolates, but God has shown us in the Bible how to approach life with whatever it is that we currently have materially.
The apostle Paul knew what it means to have things or not to have them. Writing from prison (which is not a pleasant place to be in), he wrote that he has learned the secret of how to be content with whatever situation that he faced. He spoke from the reality of his own life. He was once a high-level religious figure and then he became a tentmaker after he converted to Christianity – Paul knew what it means to be lacking and to be in abundance!
We as Christians may experience times of lack and times of abundance. But regardless of where we are right now, we are to learn the secret of being content with whatever is on our plate.
Maybe we have faced times when food and items are plentiful, but maybe things have changed. Maybe we have learned how to be content in our abundance, but have we learned to be content when food or things are lacking?
So, what is the secret of contentment that Paul was referring to? I believe that Paul shares this with us in Philippians 4:13 – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT). The answer to us being content with what we materially have is the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again! He’s the one who is able to give us strength when we face abundance and he’s also the one who is able to give us strength if we are lacking.
Can we like the Psalmist David say, ” The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” – Psalm 23:1 (NIV)? Do we rely on our great Shepherd? Christians, it is time to show where your contentment comes from. Have you learned the secret of contentment like Paul has? Can you show to everyone you know that your reliance is on Christ no matter what you have? This is where the rubber meets the road. Let us all rely on Christ who strengthens us – even when times are tough.
Father God, please help me to rely on the Lord Jesus through a time of abundance and through a time of lack. I pray that you’ll help me learn the secret of contentment like your servant Paul did. In Jesus name I pray, amen.