In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes, “I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.” Paul experienced extremely difficult living conditions, walked thousands of miles, rode donkeys, camels, and in leaking boats, and was thrown into prison. (I complain about the size of an airline seat and food in airports!). He learned to be content. How did he do that?
What if we reworded that verse this way? “I have been educated by my experience to be contained” Paul educated himself to be contented and contained his whining. Contentment is the result of our resources (supplies) contained in our heart. If my heart is filled with Jesus He will be my contentment. But, if I fill my heart and mind with what I think I need or will satisfy me, or what the culture tells me I should have to be happy, I will be constantly striving, whining, and living a stressed out discontented life. Psalms 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God” or be still. We all want this so why is it so difficult?
Statistics tell us that one of the top desires of most Christians is to grow closer to God – to know Him. But in a recent Barna poll 65% of us admitted that we were moving away from Him rather than toward Him. Have we given up thinking we will ever reach contentment and ever attain His promise of peace? Perhaps our thinking and approach is wrong.
Stop striving to do things for God. He wants to do things for us.
He wants for us to be:
Present in body, mind, and spirit, delighting in His love and experiencing His ways in life.
Obedient and trusting Him even when it doesn’t make sense. Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ…
Be bold and step out, take action, and move without fear anyone except Him. Psalms 111:10 “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom…”
When we begin to understand this we lose interest in earthly things (stuff) that our culture tells us we must have to be content and we begin to see what truly brings joy and contentment.
Start today to live a life with educated contentment.