“Not that I speak in respect of want, for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4 vs 11.
There was no one more qualified among the Apostles than Paul, whose discontentment would have been justified. He suffered hardship, need, and hunger. He was belittled, imprisoned and the list goes on. But through it all he displayed a spirit of humility and contentment. But how did he managed to be so relaxed during those times of peril and trials? Was it because he was well learned or because he was a great man? No, he was able to do that because he relied on God and did nothing in his own strength. He counted everything loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3 vs 7) and he never used his liberty in Christ to his own advantage.
The Philippians had issues among themselves and because of that they did not have God’s peace. Paul knew that without the peace of God in their lives they would have never experienced true contentment. So, he wrote to them in Philippians chapter 4, not only to encourage them in the Lord, but to show them the true path to contentment. He told them to stand fast in the Lord, (doing things God’s way), he encouraged Euodias and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord, (work in unity) and for the husbands and the other brethren to be helpful to the women who labored with him in the gospel, (not to undermine the women). He told them to always rejoice in the Lord and to be modest (do nothing in excess) and reminded them of Christs’ return. Paul continued by saying, be careful for nothing (do not worry about your needs) but instead, talk to the Lord about it and be thankful (Philippians 4 verses 1-6).
Notice what Paul said in verse 7? he said, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The verses that followed would see Paul telling them to think on praiseworthy things and to apply the things (in verses 1-6) that they learned, received, and heard to their lives and God’s peace shall be with them. Contentment means that you are in an emotional state of satisfaction whether mentally or being at ease in your body and mind. Material things does not give us true contentment. True contentment comes from a relationship with Christ and our relationship with others with Christ at the center. That was the secret to Paul’s happiness. If he had relied on material things to make him feel contented, then he would have lived a sorrowful life, since most of his time was spent in prison. His contentment came from a life committed to Christ and to serving and building up the faith of the brethren.
Let us pray: Lord please forgive me of my sins today. Thank you for your word. Lord please help me to apply your word to my life according to Philippians chapter 4 so I can experience true contentment in Jesus name. Amen. Until next time. God bless you.
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