Learning to be Content

Author: Rev. Esther Holmes
May 10, 2018

Think about it!  Phil 4:10-12  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul is thanking the church for the gift they sent him while he was in prison.  He had trouble thanking them because he wanted to be sure he expressed his gratitude but also to be sure that they realized he didn’t expect it and wasn’t dependent upon it.
The gospel should dominate the Christian life.  Back in verse 8 he explains how it controls his thinking and in verse 9 how it controls his actions.  Paul was always jealous for the reputation of Christ.  In verse 11 above, we see the condition at which the apostle has arrived.  In verse 12 above, we see the way in which he arrived at that condition.
Content:  self-sufficient, independent of circumstances or conditions.
Example: Acts 16:25 – Paul was in horrible physical condition which had little effect on him – at midnight he sang & prayed!  II Cor 12:9 – thorn in the flesh.  I Tim 6:6 – Godliness & contentment is great gain.
If you have this, you have victory in everything!  Not meaning that you should be content to remain sick or poor, etc or to be indifferent.  It means he is not controlled by his circumstances.  If you have to remain in a trying position, do not be mastered by it, don’t let it get you down, control you, or let it determine your misery or joy.  Be free and at liberty.
Which is hardest – to be abased or to abound without loosing contentment?  Can we suffer without a grudge or complaint?  How difficult is it for a wealthy person to feel totally dependent on God?
In all things – be content.
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