Sunday, November 30, 2014

What Is The Secret To Being Content?

Does being content come from having everything you need and want, or is it something else?

"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, I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13.

The Apostle Paul knew what it was to be in need. He was in prisons, he was often without food and shelter he was treated as an outcast, and homeless; but he refused self-pity and in everything he learned to be content.

He also experienced having it all, and both situations required him to learn contentment.

Christian maturity offers more than the convert thinks. We must keep on learning and discovering, and get past the milk of the Word to feast on the meat.

To be content is to be satisfied with what you have. It says what you have is enough, and refuses to look for more. This attitude requires a focus on deeper, bigger, and more important things.

Paul saw no difference between unmet need and blessing. Because his focus was on God not the circumstances, therefore every circumstance is sacred.

If we are blessed with material goods the same attitude applies- we look to God as the giver of the gift. Prosperity may offer more temptations than poverty, like the temptation to indulge or take pride in the blessings. We need humility in poverty and prosperity.

Whether in poverty or prosperity Paul was content through Christ. Not through a philosophy, a discipline, or good fortune but by a relationship with Christ.

Paul's joy was not in the things of this world but in the Lord. To focus on the Lord lifted him above all the shortcomings of this world.  In Christ he was independent from the needs of the world.

Those who are content look at God and their needs are met in Him. By faith they say, "I have an unmet need but God is good, wise, and beneficent so if He chooses to not meet this need it is not necessary or not for my good. He has a purpose in this situation I accept it and will be thankful. I will know him better through this."

To learn more about knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior follow this link.