What is it that brings you contentment? This was the topic of our sermon this morning. It was based on Phil. 4:10-13.
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.Phil. 4:10-13
We try to feel content by things or circumstances, but it just doesn’t work. Paul has learned to be content in whatever circumstances he finds himself. We often want more than we actually need. But more stuff doesn’t mean we’ll be content.
Many people know the Scripture Phil. 4:12, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Yes, our strength does come from God, but it doesn’t make us super Christians. We forget about the verse right before it. “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 use verse 13 to project our will onto Christ and then blame him when “our” will fails. This is just wrong on so many levels. We take Scripture out of context so many times to make it fit our lives, but we should be trying to we should try to make our lives fit the Scriptures.
We can still have dreams and aspirations that we work toward, but we still need to be growing in our faith knowing that we are where God wants us right now. When he wants things to change, we’ll know it. A door will open to nudge us to where he wants us to go next. Or if we’re headed the wrong way, he may close a door to keep us from going down the wrong path. We have to trust in God’s timing.
Contentment comes from inside of us and does not depend on the circumstances surrounding us. It comes from complete dependence on God.
So what do we do with this?
- God wants us to be focused on serving others.
- God wants us to find our contentment in Him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5
So, how do we know if we are in Christ?
- We look and pray for opportunities to be generous.
- We give grace to others and to ourselves. (Giving grace to myself is something I struggle with)
- If we are content, that helps us have gratitude for what our daily lives are like.
- God is enough. (I think that’s pretty profound!)
- God will supply everything we need.
- Contentment means we can’t be looking at our neighbor and want what he/she has.
- Jesus is our Deliverer, our Restorer, and where we draw our strength from.
If you want to listen to Jon’s message, which I do recommend, click here.