In the book of Philippians 4:11-13, the Apostle Paul writes,
11. Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.
12. I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need.
13. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose – I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
Contentment is rare and fleeting in our world today. If you look around you, do you see many people, who would honestly say they are content, if you asked them? I’m not speaking about the occasional or temporary contentment you feel after a superb meal, or sitting quietly and holding the hand of someone you love, or from completing an assignment or task and knowing that you’ve done a good job.
Many people do not experience contentment like Paul did. While writing to the Philippians from a prison cell in Rome, the Apostle Paul states that he has learned to be content in any and all circumstances. Contentment was an essential part of Paul’s life, and it was a word that he used when describing himself. Paul informs us in his writing that he “learned” to be content. Paul is teaching us that contentment should be an important attribute in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ, and like Paul, we too must learn to be content.
Discontentment makes us unhappy, envious, critical, impatient and unsatisfied. It is a reflection of how we perceive God. When we are discontent, we are saying that God is a God of scarcity rather than a God of abundance, an indifferent God rather than a God of love, and that it shows that we doubt His character.
There is so much discontent in our society. Our society breeds discontent. Discontent fuels our economy and drives our politics. It is not high on the priority list of things that are taught to our children in order for them to have a life of abundance in Christ Jesus.
However, contentment is a very important part of our walk of faith. One of the important qualities of faith is trust, and contentment is a by-product of trust. Discontentment portrays ingratitude and can hinder our ability to experience and enjoy an abundant life, and when we are not content it is difficult to be generous or gracious in our attitude.
Generally speaking, when people are discontent, it is usually about the wrong things. We are rarely discontent with the amount of time spent in prayer or studying the Word of God, but we are discontent with the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the house we live in, the amount of money we earn etc.
There are a few practical steps we can take towards learning how to be content with the things in our lives:
1. We can do as the Bible instructs us in the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and give thanks to God in every situation because this is His will for us. When we are thankful in every situation, it inspires us in a positive way.
2. We can remind ourselves that things could be worse than they are. I don’t know how many things could be worse than being jailed in a Roman prison, yet Paul somehow did not see it as the worst thing that could happen to him. Instead of looking 👀 at the things that others have, and which we do not have, we can look around and see how many people desire what we have.
3. In a world that proclaims “more is better,” we can decide to enjoy what we have and where we are at every moment, and trust that according to what His Word says, God shall perfect all that concerns us.
4. We can practice simplicity, knowing that we are created by God to be unique, that we are His masterpiece and are not in competition with anyone.
We are God’s people, we are in covenant with Him, and we are people of faith. Our lives of contentment showcase our trust in God and it witnesses to people. God is a gracious God Who did not spare His own, but gave Him up for us.
1. Oh Lord, You are our Shepherd and we should not want, but so often we are in want and we struggle to be content; we forget that You have graciously provided us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, and everything we need for life & godliness. Help us to be content in You with what You have given us, and not to focus on what our flesh wants or what the world tells us we should have, in the Name of Jesus.
2. Father, please protect us from coveting possessions or people, talent or influence, relationships or prestige. Keep our hearts from being anxious regarding the things that we have, and help us to be thankful for the gift of Your Son, Jesus, and the numerous gifts we have already, in the Name of Jesus.
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Father! In The Mighty Name Of Jesus Christ Your Son! We Cover Your Son Pastor E A Adeboye With The Precious Blood Of Jesus! He Shall Finish Strong, To Your Glory Through Christ Jesus Our Lord And Saviour! Amen!
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