Contentment seems to escape most of us, if not all. The desire for more is so strong. And to have a difficult situation be removed without any pain or suffering. So many situations that rob us of being content. What’s yours? Paul, addressing the Philippians, made them aware that he learned to be content. How? Certainly not that he attained it overnight. Hardships, trials, shipwrecks, persecution, imprisoned. This list of ‘teachers’ in his life allowed him to see and experience the grace and sufficiency of Christ.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (vs. 12). Through these highs and lows, he learned to trust Christ. And could say with confidence—“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (vs. 13). It’s not just in the times of abundance, it’s in those times of severe need. I and my family have experienced both, numerous times over the years, and still do.
Content could be defined as ‘being satisfied to the point where you are not disturbed or disquieted. It doesn’t say satisfied to the point where you don’t want change, but satisfied for now until God brings the change’. Impatience destroys contentment. Believe me! It could also be said that contentment is ‘grace learned over time’.
I read this recently on steps needed in order to experience contentment in whatever state we find ourselves at any moment.
- Gratefully savor the blessings of Christ
- Confidently affirm the sufficiency of Christ
- Gladly embrace the supremacy of Christ
A deep abiding faith in Christ is the only formula that works. For he is the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith”. Look to him, not at your circumstances. To God be all glory.