Most people in the world today are seeking some kind of contentment. Some seek it through purchasing a new house or a fancy car, or as many other items as their hearts desire. Others seek to find contentment by sacrificing possessions and living a simple life, free from temporal things. Some equate contentment with happiness, others with simply being resigned to the fact that we won’t ever get everything we desire. But the truth is that real contentment can only be found through Jesus Christ. As Christians, we have everything we need and so much more… When the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the church in Philippi, here is what he had to say about contentment:
“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
The amazing part about this passage is that Paul was writing this letter from prison. He knew that whether he was in prison or in a palace, in any circumstance, he could be content, for Christ was with him. Paul found his identity in Christ. He knew that the source of his satisfaction, hope, strength and riches was found in Christ. With confidence, Paul could say that satisfaction and contentment are found in Christ alone, a lesson he learned this through many trials. What about you? Do you find yourself hoping in something other than Christ to satisfy? Perhaps a new job,or a relationship, or health. All those are good things, but only Christ can satisfy.
Paul knew that through Christ, he could do all things… even be content in seeming hopeless circumstances. We have this same promise today… that the same God that empowered Paul to be content in prison, is at work in our lives today. We can live our entire lives seeking comfort in relationships, acknowledgement and power. We can seek contentment from temporal pleasures. None of these things will satisfy. Not really. They may give fleeting surges of happiness, but they do not last. Jesus is our righteousness, our rest, and contentment. Only the face of God satisfies. Only being in His presence allows us to reflect His likeness.
Let’s take control of our thoughts, dear friends. Let us stand with Paul in declaring, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Let us put our hope in God who never changes, rather than the fluctuating circumstances around us. Even if nothing else may be going right, I can be confident that God is with me. Let’s discover together that God is enough through every season of life! I am speaking out loud to my soul today, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why are you in disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalms 43:5)