“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV).
Without God in our life, we can never know true
contentment and peace. Nothing in this hectic world can offer such
peace―no possession, no person, no joyful anticipation.
Only God promises spiritual contentment and peace, and that is
something the world can never give. Paul wrote that he had learned to be
content in every circumstance. Whether that circumstance was joyful and
inspiring or hard and discouraging, Paul knew contentment and peace.
Paul's contentment came from a strong and deep personal relationship
with Jesus Christ. He didn't want to be in prison, and he certainly
didn't want to be dependent on others to provide for his needs. But, no
matter what he faced, he was content. His eyes were not on what He was
around him, but upon His Savior. God gave him peace, and a purpose to
fulfill. Fulfilling His purpose only strengthened Paul's faith in God's
provision. His incarceration could not stop him from trusting God to
meet all his needs. His chains could not keep him from writing of God's
great goodness. He had learned the secret of being content in every
Often we discover that many things are just
impossible for us. We cannot find contentment and peace in our
circumstances. Struggling doesn't help. Railing at God doesn't help. In
fact, it makes it worse. But there is a peace that passes our human
understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When we know God as intimately as
Paul, we can give Him all that rages in our life, and take refuge in
Him. Paul's life shows us that is it absolutely possible to have peace
and contentment when we trust God. The secret is to know God intimately
and completely. This takes commitment, prayer, and a desire for more of
the Lord and less of what the world offers.
“Peace I leave
with you; my peace I give you,” Jesus said. “I do not give to you as the
world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
(John 14:27, NIV). I have told you these things so that in me you may
have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). His peace is not dependent upon
what the world or circumstances offer. We may have trouble in this life,
but we do not need to fear. He has over overcome whatever we face. When
we seek Him with all of our being, we will find Him and discover His
peace. We realize that nothing is impossible for Him. We can boldly face
whatever is to come with His peace and His purpose. Just as Paul, we
can rise and do whatever God calls us to do. All things are possible
through Jesus Christ who gives us the strength to accomplish it.