“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)
One thing is for sure, being content does not come naturally to us; it must be learned. The unfortunate part of learning to be content is that the lessons often come in the low times and the times of need. The apostle Paul tells us how he learned to be content. Most people seek contentment in things or possessions. When I say “most people,” this includes Christians. True contentment is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is writing from prison, yet, he is still content. Life does not consist of what you possess.
God is not impressed with our possessions or accomplishments; He is impressed with our obedience and faithfulness to Him. When our hearts are gripped with wanting more of the newest and latest trends and gadgets, we are setting ourselves up for a huge “let-down” should any of these things be taken away. Paul’s happiness did not depend upon circumstances or things; joy was found in the Lord.
What does it really mean to be content? Contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of our outward circumstances. No matter how traumatic our life is going, the contented person has an inner strength and peace. Contentment is not escape from the battle, but rather an abiding peace and confidence in the midst of the battle. True contentment is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.