Philippians 4:11- Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Ever hear of these cliché’s or sayings – “We all have a God-shaped hole”, “We start each day with an empty cup, and you can try to have others fill it or ask Jesus to fill it” “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul”.
The verse above is in a passage written by the apostle Paul talking about being in prison and being able to find contentment in whatever place he is in and concludes with the verse- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Many people choose Philippians 4:13 as their life verse, not realizing that it points to the whole passage talking about finding contentment in Christ in whatever circumstance you are in. It’s not meant as a “get your quick fix of empowering encouragement” for whatever task you are trying to complete. We have to look at the whole counsel of God and make sure things are in context when we use them.
So let’s talk about this mysterious idea of true contentment. Many people search it out like they are in a game of hide and go seek, as though it’s just out of reach.
Our world offers contentment in things. Why do you think there’s a new phone every 6 months, or new cars every year, new computers and programs, new bigger homes being built, options upon options no matter where you go be it Starbucks for 80,000 different ways to get your coffee or the famous “Have it your way” slogan of Burger King. We have more television shows than a person can watch, and here’s a biggie…. More “ways to God” than there ever used to be.
Maybe you don’t fit into those general categories. Maybe your's resembles the desire that creeps up while you walk through the mall, or the shoe store, or handbags, the hair salon, or the nail salon, the gym, or Hobby Lobby, whatever it may be. I am by no means saying these things are bad in and of themselves. It is the love of them, the burning need to have more, and the fake feeling of contentment you get from them that only lasts until you want something else.
As a believer in Christ, your source of contentment is in Jesus Christ! It is constant, sufficient and there’s a never-ending supply! It will never disappoint.
Just as your need to fill your stomach is daily, so is your need to choose to fill yourself with the things of Christ daily.
Are you wondering why it always feels like something is missing? It’s Jesus. We are made in His image and with eternity in our hearts. No wonder we search and desire something bigger and better!
Stop filling your need or contentment with the world, because scripture says in I John 2:15-17: Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father's love is not in him. For everything that is in the world, the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God's will remains forever.