I can do all things through him who strengthens me. [Philippians 4:13]
Earlier in this chapter, the apostle Paul talks about having learned the secret to being content in any and every situation. He says that he knows how to be brought low and to abound; how to face hunger and how to face plenty. No matter what, Paul is content.
What a gift.
But what strikes me about this text is not the statement about being content with very little or nothing, but rather being content with plenty. It seems like a no-brainer that one would be content with plenty but it is the source of the contentment that is at issue. For some, being content is wrapped up in the stuff and people they have in their lives. Their contentment might be through their life situation: job, status, position. They may look around themselves and say “Ahhhh…this is good” But often times, people like that are like the rich fool who tears down his barns to build bigger ones (Luke 12:16-21). Contentment in this sense only looks inward and not to others but more importantly, it is not sustainable.
For Paul it is not about material possessions or health or status. It’s not about what this world says is important. For Paul, what is important is faith in Jesus. For…
it is through faith in Jesus that helps us see that we already have everything.
it is through faith in Jesus that helps us see that everything we have is nothing with him.
The “all things” from these words of Paul includes contentment, for true contentment CAN NOT be found outside of faith in Jesus. That is why some of the poorest Christians in the world are some of the most joyful. Contentment is wrapped up in their faith in Jesus and their hope of the resurrection. They know that they already have everything they need and that they are nothing without Jesus.
I can be content in God for He strengthens me; gives me hope; provides for me and loves me.
So remove your eyes from what you have and don’t have and focus on the cross. See a Savior that died and rose FOR YOU. Give thanks for the forgiveness that Jesus offers through that sacrifice. Cling to the promise of everlasting life. Bask in the love of God. Be content with this, for faith in Jesus is indeed everything you truly need.
May God open your eyes to see what Jesus has done for you. May the Holy Spirit create and strengthen faith within you. May true joy exude from the very fabric of your being. And, of course, may you be totally at peace; being content with your life.
Praise be God!
The Pastor -|—