Phil 4:12-13 (NIV)
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul talks here about “learning the SECRET”. What is this secret? Wouldn’t you love to learn it as well?
One of the things that happens to us when we are discontent is that we get anxious. Right?! So let’s go back to see what he says about that:
Phil 4:4 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
He says to rejoice in every situation and by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. When we do this, an exchange takes place where anxiety about a situation is replaced with peace. So according to this, the secret to contentment is PRAYER.
Prayer is our CONNECTION to our supreme, all- knowing and all- powerful God. Prayer activates the power and strength of the indwelling Spirit of Christ in us so that as Paul said..we can do all things (even be content in difficult situations) because of His strength in us. Many of us know how anxiety drains. Prayer strengthens us to move forward!
Then what are we to do after we’ve made our request to God?
Phil 4:8-9 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. DESIRE THESE THINGS 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Here’s more encouragement on why we should be content:
1 Timothy 6:6-12 (NIV)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Final Charge to Timothy
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
We can be ‘Godly’ without contentment! Also look at how the desire of those that want to get rich is described as “harmful desire”.
Let’s not misunderstand, we are not talking about not enjoying the blessings of wealth that God gives, but more so, that if it is not for you at this time, for whatever reason, that you must not covet it or covet what a friend has but rather be happy for them. Neither should you covet what you see in the glossy magazines. We are to FLEE from this and instead pursue righteousness. We didn’t bring anything into the world and we will not be taking anything when we leave.
So ladies, let’s pray, let’s give our requests to God so that we are not anxious, let’s be thankful, let’s fix our minds on what is good and praiseworthy and flee from the harmful desire of wanting more, let’s choose to be CONTENT.