By Justin Randolph
Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Sevierville, TN. Extract from the Baptist and Reflector: Sunday School Lesson-Bible Studies For Life. Philippians 4:10-20

More is the word that perhaps best characterizes our society — more wealth, more luxury, more significance, more gizmos, and more love.  Sometimes we do not even know what we need more of, we just know we want more. It seems we are always in search of contentment, but never quite finding it.  

In the last section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul voices his gratitude for the church’s care of him while at the same time expressing his spirit of contentment. He says in verse 11 he has learned to be content no matter what the situation. In verses 13 and following, Paul reveals to us both from whom he has learned this great gift and how we can follow in his path to a place of contentment. Let’s break it down into four secrets of contentment.

The first secret is to bloom where God has planted you. For Paul, it was in a Roman prison. His circumstance may not have been ideal, but Paul understood that his joy and contentment were not found in his circumstances, but in his Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, since he had learned to depend on Him, he could be content in all circumstances.

Second, Paul had found an inner source of strength.  His contentment was rooted in his fellowship with Christ. Therefore, through the power of this intimate relationship, Paul had learned to overcome even the most dire of circumstances. He knew that no matter where he was or what was happening, God was at work in and through his life. Therefore, his belief in the goodness of God and the will of God for his life allowed him to find contentment in any circumstance.

Third, Paul drew strength from the support and prayers of his friends. He wrote of his joy at their partnership in the gospel. He appreciated their gift and that they had “shared in my distress.” The knowledge that the work of God begun though him in Philippi continued as well as their thoughts and prayers enabled Paul to find the fortitude to continue steadfast with joy in what God had called him to do.

Finally, Paul found contentment and joy in the promises of God. He knew the source of provision for every physical and spiritual need. He also believed that the God who supplied all his needs would also supply the needs of the church as they endeavored to live for Christ.  Jesus said, “Seek first my kingdom and rightly align your self to it, and then all the things you need will be added to you.”

So, what about you? Do you trust God for all your needs? Are you content where He has you serving and working in His kingdom? Do your prayers align with the will and kingdom purposes of God? Have you learned as Paul did that He is really all you need? The secret of contentment is more of Jesus and nothing more.

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