Philippians 4:10-14 – “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction”.
I have been reading through the book of Philippians for the past few weeks. As I read chapter 4, I came across Paul’s idea of being content (4:11). I googled the word “content” and found no shortage of earthly means by which I can be content.
As I meet with people weekly, I am finding that one of the deep desires of their life is to be content. My fear is that many are searching google for contentment and not connecting to God in a deeper way to find the contentment that they are searching for in their lives. C.S. Lewis says it this way, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
I want to suggest to you three ways to find the contentment in life that Paul is talking about in these verses:
Contentment is found when we learn to rejoice in the Lord
In verse 10, Paul says that he “rejoiced in the Lord greatly”. When you are in a growing relationship with the Lord you are in the process of learning to be content in whatever circumstances that you find yourself. You begin to realize that every day is not going to be easy, but you find that in the most difficult of days, you can be content because you have God walking with you every step of the way. So, rejoice in the Lord today. Your contentment is found in your relationship with the Lord. He is walking with you today through the circumstances that you currently find yourself, whether good or bad, He is there.
Contentment is found in Christian relationships
In verse 10, Paul uses the words, “now at last you have revived your concern for me.” In verse 14, he says, “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” In these words, Paul is acknowledging that his contentment in his current situation is helped not only by his relationship with the Lord, but also by his Christian brothers and sisters around him. Do you have a group of Christian friends who are there to celebrate with you when life is great? Do you have a group of Christian friends who are there to support you when life circumstances are extremely challenging? If you do not, I want to encourage you to begin to pray and ask the Lord to give you some Christian brothers and sisters that will celebrate with you and support you in challenging seasons of life. In these relationships, you truly can find the contentment in life that the Lord wants you to have.
Contentment is found in the strength of the Lord
Verse 13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” I find that I never seem to find contentment in my life when I am trying to live in my own strength. I wind up getting caught up doing things that are more deigned to accomplish my will versus living in the strength of the Lord to accomplish the things that are a part of His will for my life. When I live to accomplish things in my own strength and for my own will, I find myself worn out and frustrated. When I live to accomplish His will in His strength, I find life, energy and contentment.
My prayer for you today is that wherever you find yourself…living life in a great place or dealing with worst of circumstances…you will find the contentment that only Jesus can bring.