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Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

We are told godliness with contentment is great gain (1Tim. 6:6). The Apostle Paul said he had learned in whatever state he was in to be content.  This amazes me because of the hardships he endured and was constantly facing.  We are told Paul was whipped 5 times (2Cor. 11:24)—each time with 39-lashes.  The whip or “Scourge” as it was known, had tiny pieces of metal, bone, wire, or hardened clay attached to the strands so it would rip the flesh open. 

In addition to these scourging, Paul was beaten with rods three times, stoned once, and shipwrecked another three times. He was often without sleep, food, or clothing as a result of the perils he faced.  And yet he actually learned to be content, regardless of what he faced (2Cor 11:25-27). I believe many of us reading these verses would have a hard time being content if we were naked, starving, or being beaten.  I can say with confidence, each and every one of us has or will at some point, struggle with truly being content because of what we are going through, or because of our desire to have more, or even something different.

Q:         As Christian men and women, how can we learn to be truly content?

I believe the answer lies in how we look at, and apply God’s truth.  For instance, if we truly believe God’s Word then we can be confident He is on the throne and in control (Isa. 41:10; 59:1; Ps. 55:22 Nahum 1:7).  God has perfect thoughts and a plan for each of our lives (Jer. 29:11), and He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5-6).  He has promised to finish the work He has started in us (Phil. 1:6), and He has made a promise to provide for our needs (Matt. 6:25-33).  These are just a few things we can choose to think upon when we’re being tempted to fear, worry, or doubt our future, safety, and provisions. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

I think to truly have a proper perspective—one leading to contentment—we must stop and reflect on what we have already been given by God.  We should ask ourself, “What would I have without God?  What would my eternal future be?”  When we do this we begin to realize the abundant blessings He has given unto us—things such as our very lives, our health, our family and friends, every provision, and good gift.   Just think about the gift of salvation and the hope that comes with it.

Q:         Knowing and understanding how much we have already been given and possess because of God’s great love for us shouldn’t we be able to learn to be content in whatever state we’re in?

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let’s stop and identify what our life would be like without the things God has already given unto us.  Let’s choose to be content in these things. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Romans 6:23 what gift have we been given?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you learn to be content if you are given no more than the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus?

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to focus on what we have been given, and what we possess in Christ Jesus, and not on what we don’t have.

LET’S PRAY: Father, Thank You for Your abundant gift of eternal life.  Thank You for our health and every provision You have graciously given to us.  We love you Lord…In Jesus’ precious name…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000