Hello, My Name is ... God | Philippians 4:10-11
Philippians 4:10-11 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been 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.
Learning to be content whatever the circumstances. Man, that is quite a statement, isn’t it? Far too many people draw contentment from their circumstances. Satisfaction comes from the “good things” going on in their life. Most conclude, “I’m healthy, therefore, I’m content,” “Things are good at home, therefore, I’m happy,” “The job is going well, therefore, I’m satisfied.” But for Paul, contentment transcends circumstances.
To be clear, Paul was not Pollyanna. He didn’t dance through life, oblivious to the challenges. He knew what it was like to “be in need, and…to have plenty,” to be “well fed or hungry,” to live in “plenty or in want.” But through these experiences, he “learned to be content” regardless of the cards he was dealt at any particular time. His contentment was found, not in the present circumstance, but in his personal Savior.
There are no five easy steps to contentment. As Paul notes, being content whatever the circumstances involves a learning process. And learning involves experiences that are not always desired and often unpleasant. When a former professor of mine heard someone say, “I’m doing pretty well under the circumstances,” he would ask them “What in the world are you doing under the circumstances?” Just like Paul, our contentment is not found in the present circumstance but in our personal Savior, Jesus Christ. He will always provide everything we need.
Heavenly Father, please teach us the secret of being content in any and every circumstance. Give us the strength and capacity to be good learners. In Jesus’ name. Amen.