I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:10-13
In all the ramblings about how you need to grow, how you need to do better, how you need to be a better Christian... how often do you hear about contentment?
I mean, it's the chief point of Philippians - Paul is content. Even though he suffers in prison... eh, it gives me a chance to preach to my jailers. I am content. I know the peace that surpasses all human understanding - I know I am redeemed by Christ, justified and forgiven. I know that whatever I see, He will raise me to life everlasting. I am content.
But that's not what we talk about -- no, that's too... passive. We want to be active, we want to be the hero, we want to be the ones running around and doing doing doing things. See, it even says that I can do all things...
But did you note the context. What "all things" is Paul referring to?
Not your pet project, not your own mighty goodness, not your latest campaign to remold the world in your image.
I can do all - I can be brought.
I can do all - I can abound.
I can do all - I can face plenty (a dangerous thing)
I can do all - I can face hunger
I can do all - I can face abundance
I can do all - I can face need.
And actually, I don't like that "I Can" -- we hear "I can" and suddenly think about what we DO... it's actually "I have strength". I am strong in whatever situation I find myself - and why? Christ strengthens me.
In Him, I am content no matter what I see.
Do I have great wealth and success - Christ is still my Lord and Savior.
Do I have terrible failures - Christ is still my Lord and Savior
Do I see my sin - Christ is still my Lord and Savior
Do I have the temptation of seeing how good I am - Christ is still my Lord and Savior
Do I see my culture crumbling around me - Christ is still my Lord and Savior
Do I see the blessings of the world - Christ is still my Lord and Savior
In Him, there is contentment.
Now, when I'm not looking at Christ - when I'm looking at myself, the world around me, my job, my hopes, my dreams... well, then there's not so much contentment. But Christ calls out over all this hub-bub, all this hustle and bustle, all this ego, all this shame, and He cries out "IT IS FINISHED"
I have learned to be content, for I am strong in Christ, for He strengthens me.
Merciful God, focus my eyes ever more upon Christ!