Contentment in Christ
Category : General
Philippians 4: 11—KJV
11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Though Paul was doubtless often in circumstances of necessity, yet he did not make these remarks on that account. In his journeys, in his imprisonments, he could not but be at times in want; but be had learned to bear all this; and that which most impressed itself on his mind was the interest which the church ought to show in the cause of religion, and the evidence which it would thus furnish of attachment to the cause. As to his own personal trials, he had learned to bear them, so that they did not give him great uneasiness. Paul did not want the Philippians to misunderstand him. He was not rejoicing primarily because their gift had met his need, but because their gift expressed their love and concern for him. Paul had learned to be content and to rejoice regardless of his physical circumstances. Such contentment is not a natural gift.
These words signify how contentedness may be attained. It is not an endowment innate to us, but it is a product of discipline “I have learned.” It was pointed out that this is a question of Plato, whether virtue is to be learned. Paul plainly resolves it by the testimony, of his experience. It however requires great resolution and diligence in conquering our desires; hence it is an art which few study. In regard to God, we may consider that equity exacts, gratitude requires, and reason dictates that we should be content; or that, in being discontented, we behave ourselves unbecomingly and unworthily, are very unjust, ungrateful, and foolish towards Him.
Friends, let us reflect and remember that whatever our circumstances they are the arrangement of the providence of God, who has a sovereign right to dispose of us. “Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of earth, but woe to him that contends with his Maker.” It is requisite that we should acquire a habit of looking at the favorable as well as the adverse side. As was observed, “If we are poor, God has given us our health; if He has taken two of our children, He has spared a third; some of our neighbors are worse off; at the worst we have your Bible and your Savior.” Supposing our lives were affliction throughout, still we would deserve worse. God designs our advantage in every calamity. Christian hope is the secret of Christian contentment
Have a great and godly day!