The Secret of Being Content

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In Philippians 4: 12-13, the Apostle Paul says that he knows what it is to be in need and he knows what it is to have plenty…and that he has learned the secret of being content whatever his circumstances.  To me, that is such a profound statement.  Paul is saying that no matter what is going on in his life, good or bad, that he is okay.   As I have heard this scripture over the years, I always wondered, what the “secret” was.  Can you imagine, that if we all could be content despite the circumstances of our life…that would be amazing.  Paul endured hunger, suffering, imprisonment—and yet, he says that he was content even in those situations.  If we only knew what the secret was then we too could be okay even in the midst of all the issues and problems that we confront.  I have wondered for years what the secret was and not long ago, I realized that the answer to the secret is in the following verse where Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  Paul’s great secret to contentment is that he KNEW that no matter what his life circumstances were that the Lord would give him the strength he needed to make it through.  Because he had such great confidence and faith that the Lord would be with him, Paul was then okay no matter what situation he found himself in.  The more faith we have in God and His willingness and ability to minister to our every need, the more content we will be too.  Even in this economy, we can say to ourselves, “God will make sure that I’m okay”.  In the midst of relationship difficulties and family problems, we can say, “God will help me through this”.  During the curve balls that life throws to us, we’ll know… “With God, I’m strong enough to deal with this”.  Because of our faith, we can then be content.   Through his life, Paul has taught us something very valuable.  Life will not be perfect.  Paul was a great servant for God and even his life was filled with hardship.  If life was hard for Paul, a man of God, surely it will be hard for us too.   During those hard times, we must be content…knowing that God will give us the strength we need to make it through.

Carl