“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 everything through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13
Contentment Class is in Session
Most days I wake up eager to achieve. I want more than what I currently have and I am determined to work as hard as I can to possess it. Those feelings are natural to me, but in recent weeks, they’ve been the cause of conflict in my heart.
In today’s play call, Paul acknowledges that contentment is something that needs to be learned. It’s not an innate characteristic or a feeling that comes naturally. Most of us have to go through some unpleasant situations to be taught contentment. These unpleasant situations are often produced by our insatiable thirst for quick success, fast wealth, and comparing our possessions and achievements to that of other people.
Contentment takes Personal Commitment
We all know what Paul experienced during his time here on earth, and I doubt that any of us would volunteer to walk a day in his shoes. But, there is something so precious and genuine that happened in Paul’s heart throughout his journey of faith.
Here are 3 reasons Paul was able to stand firm and commit to being content:
1. Paul knew that God was sovereign and in control.
The apostle’s own conversion, documented in Acts 9, attests to his knowledge of God’s sovereignty. For God to choose Paul of all people to share His truth proved that God was indeed in control. Paul knew that despite what he might endure, all things worked together for the good of God’s kingdom.
Self-check: Do we trust the sovereignty of God today? Do we truly believe that God is in control and that He is a just and fair Father?
2. He lived his life for others.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
When we give our lives to Christ, we find new life in Him. That new life allows us to focus on God’s will for us to love others above ourselves. If we choose to put our attention on those who are hurting in this world, we forget our own struggles with contentment. Suddenly, we have enough and we find that we are equipped to do everything God has called us to do.
Self-check: Are we so focused on getting more for ourselves that we have no capacity to care for those who have little to nothing?
3. He was confident of his reward in heaven.
This life meant very little to the Apostle Paul and it is wise for us to heed his example. He had experienced every prestigious achievement possible. He was a man of knowledge and stature, but all that meant nothing without Christ. Paul was able to count it an honor to suffer with Christ because he knew that He was his exceeding great reward (Colossians 3:24).
Self-check: Is Christ truly our reward today? If we never achieve that goal, that level of achievement or success, does winning Christ mean more? Is Christ enough?
So, What’s the Play Call?
Pursue godliness with contentment – this is our greatest gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
I pray that we would all take the time to acknowledge the fulfillment we have in Christ alone. He is all we need and He has given us everything we need to live a godly life. Let’s make the conscious decision to be content in every situation we face.