The Source of Contentment
10. I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
11. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
12. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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.
We usually associate contentment with good conditions. When our family relationships are great, work is fulfilling, and we have no health or financial problems, then we feel confident at ease. But if something goes wrong, we lose our satisfaction..
That’s not what today’s passage is talking about. Paul had learned to be content no matter what his conditions were. This is wonderful news for us because it means we can be stable and secured in all circumstances; we, too, can learn to be content regardless of what we’re facing. We should remember:
Paul was content because he rested in God’s faithfulness. He knew the Lord was in full control (Psalm 103:19) and promised to work all things for His children’s good (Romans 8:28). In any and every circumstance, Paul rested in the security of God’s sovereign, loving hand. The apostle also trusted that whatever he needed would be provided in the Lord’s time.
His contentment also flowed from a focus on Christ. Although he was writing from a Roman prison, Paul was not feeling like a victim in self-pity. Throughout the letter to the Philippians, he talked about Jesus. In fact, his greatest pursuit in life was to know Christ, His power, and the fellowship of His sufferings (Romans 3:10). No circumstance could hinder that pursuit. On the contrary, every situation—even when painful or difficult—was an opportunity to know Christ more intimately.
We’ll never be able to find lasting contentment in our circumstances, but we can find it in Christ. When we surrender our life to Him, our situation may not change, but we will. No matter what we face, we can be content as long as we are abiding in the Lord.
As we walk with the Lord for this coming week, let let remember we can be fully satisfied with Jesus. He is the source of our contentment.