I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
Read: Philippians 4
Consider: Have you ever noticed that some people seem to lead very contented lives, while others seem to be discontented? Perhaps you are one of those people who say ‘If only I had ….., I would be content’. What you wish for may be financial stability, job security, house, family, partner, or anything that you think will give you happiness. The problem with this way of thinking is that it is always something added to what you already have that you think will lead to happiness and contentment. Unfortunately this kind of contentment is elusive and unattainable.
In Philippians 4, Paul talks about contentment that is evident whether he is in need, or in plenty, Paul tells the Philippians: I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. This is the type of contentment Paul wants his readers to have, something that is evident whatever is happening in their lives. Paul describes it as a ‘secret’ because he knows that real contentment like this eludes many people. Unfortunately even Christians can sometimes fail to have true contentment in their lives and spend their time striving after happiness and contentment in the wrong things.
Look again at how Paul concludes Philippians 4:13 with this statement: I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Paul knows that we are powerless to create our own contentment and that the secret of true contentment lies in the one who can give us the strength to accept our circumstances, whatever they are. It is only ‘in Christ’ that we can have the strength to be truly content.
Pray: Father, forgive us when we forget that true contentment lies in the strength we have from your Son. We recognise that when we depend upon our own strength we tend to focus on things that we think will make us happy, rather than realising that having new life in Christ should give us contentment. Amen