Philippians 4:11-13 KJV Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
What Does Content Mean From Philippians 4?
Content – autarkes <842> Definition: 1) sufficient for one’s self, strong enough or processing enough to need no aid or support 2) independent of external circumstances 3) contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, though the slenderest by NetBible
Paul says he learned to be satisfied no matter what was happening in his life. He wrote this letter while in prison. He was in isolation, chained to a guard, awaiting his trial before Nero.
Contentment in Godliness
1 Timothy 6:5-7 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind who are devoid of the truth. These men regard godliness as a means of gain. 6 Of course, godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, so we cannot carry anything out of it. by BibleHub.com
How The World Views Contentment
Contentment is illusive to many. Why? Because happiness is connected to outward circumstances. We are filled with happiness when we get our way and what we want. But we must ask our self, how often and for how long do “good” circumstances stay in our life. The older one gets, the more obvious it becomes, the only constant in life is change. Amongst all that goes on in daily life where do I find true lasting contentment?
We discover the same thing Paul did. God is in control of all the seasons of our life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). The difficult seasons prune us, reshape us. That is, mold us into the image of Christ. How? By moving us deeper and closer to God through the strengthening of our faith. We learn to stand in and lean on, with our whole being, the power and strength of Christ.
Paul’s sufferings taught him God provides all his needs in His perfect timing.
How To Be Content No Matter What?
How do I make this possible in my life no matter what I am going through?
It is essential we immerse ourselves in God’s word. It is there we will find the answer.
The truth is, suffering will cause us to draw toward God or turn from Him. Suffering shows us who we really are inside. But more than anything, suffering will reveal how helpless and hopeless we are without Christ Jesus as our Lord. Joseph suffered many injustices. He also came to the conclusion God is our hope and worthy of our trust (Genesis 50:20). David ran from Saul for 20 years. He wrote about how he dealt with his suffering in many Psalms.
The life of Paul was filled with suffering of all kinds (2 Corinthians 11:23-28) and he learned the secret of contentment. Finding peace in his soul by resting in the sovereignty of God.
Contentment In Christ
David put his trust in the goodness of God. He kept his eyes on Christ at all times. What was the result? His heart was glad and he gave praise to God. This allowed him to rest in the hope of God Who was there. We are to learn Christ is our all in all. God holds our future in His hands. Let us keep our eyes on Christ Jesus Who prepares a place for us in His home. Worshipping and praising God in heaven is our true treasure and real home. This world will never truly satisfy the human soul.
Psalm 16:1-11 KJV 1 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. 2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; 3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. 5 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. 6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Learn more from our bible teaching on “Is Control An Illusion? What is God’s View On Control?“