Brothers and Sisters,
(Philippians 4:11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
What a great lesson for all of us who are followers of Christ to learn, “in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. This has been easy preaching down over the years, but hard living. Are there any exceptions to what Paul is talking about here in Philippi? Is it even possible to be content in whatsoever state we find ourselves in? Evidently, there must be a way because the Apostle Paul said that he had learned how to be content no matter whatsoever state he was in. Either he is lying or he has learned something that all of us need to learn in our Christian walk. So, what lessons did Paul learn that gave him contentment in whatsoever state he found himself in?
- Paul had a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He met him on the road to Damascus. He was on his way with letters from the high priest in Jerusalem to persecute the Christians there in Damascus. The Bible says that he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord (Acts 9:1-2). While on his way he was struck blind by a great light and he heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul why persecutes thou me?” “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks”. This changed not only his name from “Saul” to “Paul”, but it changed his life for eternity. So, the first step in learning to be content in whatsoever state you find yourself in is to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Paul was not ashamed of the gospel.
(Romans 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Another way to be content in whatsoever state you find yourself in is to understand that you have in your possession the most powerful thing on earth (the gospel). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every person that believeth no matter whether young or old, male or female, rich or poor, race or nationality. Boldness in sharing the gospel will bring contentment in the life of a Christian no matter their circumstances.
- Paul lived his life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 1:17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. In order to be content in whatsoever state you’re in, you must live by faith. Paul says we as Christian people are to “Walk by faith and not by sight”. However, the verse that Paul wrote that really described how he lived his life is found in (Galatians 2:20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I believe this is the key to living a life of contentment while in our earthly tabernacle. We know that in this life we are going to face trials and hardships, but if we live our lives by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us, then we too can learn to be content in whatsoever state we find ourselves in.
Content with Jesus,