We can be content, because life’s circumstances do not dictate to us. We live in Him. Christian contentment is based upon dependence not independence. Paul is no Stoic. He is not acting as though he is above his circumstances which have no effect upon him. Rather, in the midst of the difficult circumstances, he is trusting in God and looking to Christ in whom He has all things. He is not independent; he is Christ-dependent. For me to live is Christ. It is not being self-satisfied or self-fulfilled; it is being Christ-satisfied and Christ-fulfilled. And this makes contentment possible.
Discontentment may be the greatest trap in our culture. It may be greater than lust, greed, and even lying, because discontentment leads to all these other sins. It tends to be a well-spring of iniquity. I have yet to meet an individual who engaged in an affair without first suffering from discontentment. I have yet to speak with a drunkard, gossiper, liar, or idolater of body or rest or recreation without them alluding to discontentment. And it feels like the entire world is colluding to stir up discontentment within us. Every billboard, every commercial, every brochure tends to communicate, “You deserve and need more.”
Contentment - Thing - Something - Television - Thought
Contentment is a slippery thing. As soon as we think we are content it wiggles away, due to something we see on television, some stray thought, or a small comment another person makes. Is contentment even possible?
Paul asserts that it is. In fact, he says that he has learned to be content in whatever situation (Philippians 4:11). He goes on to tell us the secret to contentment: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul isn’t saying he can do all things in Christ as a kind of blanket statement. He doesn’t think he...
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