Philippians 4:11, 12 - The Secret of Contentment.
Philippians 4:11, 12 (NIV) I am not saying
this because I am in need, for I have learned to
be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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
We often hear people talk about the
pursuit of happiness. Although it's not a horrible
pursuit, it's an empty one. Life's real pursuit is
contentment. I learned the secret of contentment the hard
way. As a young woman, I was surrounded by the
lure of wealth and material possessions. Life as
a pro-athlete's wife was full of distractions.
Better jewelry, nicer clothes, and beautiful homes.
But as with any false advertising scheme, once
you attain new things they lose their luster.
As soon as I got used to the "good life,"
it was gone as quickly as it came. We plunged
into decades of working as many jobs as we could
to keep afloat. So much for luster! During that
time I thanked God for the difficulties we faced
because my children got to witness parents who
worked hard, praised God, and were content with
what they had - not bitter about what they lost.
Now my life is a wild mix of several
worlds. Part of the year I work in the villages of
rural Uganda, loving people who have nothing but
the torn shirts on their backs. I also sit in
the stands of minor league baseball stadiums,
loving the wives and girlfriends of players
desperate to break into the major leagues. And
sometimes I live among wealthy leaders in the film,
book, and sports industries. No matter where we
are or whom we are with, our lives mirror the
struggle to be content - and the secret is in Christ.
As we give our dreams, plans, and agendas over
to Him, we begin to understand what it means to
be content. by Gari Meacham
Faith Step: Take a small notebook and
title it "Contentment Commitment." Write about the
areas in which you struggle and how you will
invite Jesus into the struggle. [Mornings With
Jesus 2018 Devotional by Guideposts and
Researchers have found a link to
gratitude and longevity, the quality of your
relationships, and even how well you sleep. Just learning
to be thankful for what you already have can
make you happy.
The apostle Paul found contentment
because he rejoiced in the Lord. He wrote,
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say,
rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NKJV). Paul didnt say we
should rejoice in circumstances; he said we are to
rejoice in the Lord.
Paul continued, I have learned in
whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be
abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in
all things I have learned both to be full and to
be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I
can do all things through Christ who strengthens
me (verses 11"13 NKJV).
Paul was under house arrest when he wrote
these words. Yet he was content. Lets not
misunderstand. Paul wasnt necessarily saying that we
should be satisfied with our present spiritual
condition. Earlier in Philippians he wrote, Not that
I have already attained, or am already
perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that
for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of
me (3:12 NKJV). We should not be satisfied with
where we are in that sense. But having said that,
we should find contentment in our relationship
Contentment comes when we rejoice in the
Lord. Think about your life right now. Can you
learn to love what you have instead of what you
dont have? What you have in Christ is far greater
than anything you dont have in life. You have
Jesus. Therefore, you have everything you need for
now and eternity. And Jesus has you. That makes
all the difference in the world. [By Greg Laurie
from Harvest Ministries;
A psychologist who conducted research on
what brings contentment observed, If people
strive for a certain level of affluence thinking
that will make them happy, they find that on
reaching it, they become very quickly habituated, and
at that point they start hankering for the next
level of income, property, or good health.
Getting more stuff wont bring
contentment. Someone who makes thousands of dollars
thinks, If only I were a millionaire. The
millionaire thinks, If only I were a billionaire.
Its always beyond their reach.
In his epistle to the church at Philippi,
Paul said that he had found the secret to
contentment. Whats interesting is that Paul was
experiencing adverse circumstances when he wrote this. He
wasnt kicking back on some beach in the
Mediterranean, eating a falafel. He was a prisoner of Rome.
He was facing an uncertain future. Yet he wrote
a lot about joy, rejoicing, happiness, and
How is that possible? The answer is found
in a word that Paul used and referenced again
and again in his epistle: mind. Which brings us
to a simple point: The secret of contentment is
found in the way a believer thinks. It is not
found in the way a believer feels, because our
emotions fluctuate. We dont base contentment on
the way that we feel; we base it on the way that
My friend Max Lucado put it this way:
The good life begins not when circumstances
change, but when our attitude toward them does.
Paul had experienced pleasure and health
as well as sickness and weakness. He had highs
and lows. He was a hero to some and a villain to
others. But he learned this. Contentment does not
come from conquering our circumstances. Rather,
it comes from learning to live with them. [By
Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
I think its important for those who
are unmarried to find happiness as a single
person before they find happiness as a married
person, because someone who thinks another person
will meet all the needs of their life will be
Ultimately what we really long for is a
relationship with God. We need Him to be first in our
lives. Then, having found that relationship with
Him, we need to find contentment where we are,
whether single or married.
The apostle Paul said, I have learned
in whatever state I am, to be content
(Philippians 4:11 NKJV). We have to get first things
first. As youre looking around for a potential
spouse, look for a godly person. A lot of people say
theyre Christians when theyre actually not, so
look for someone whos godly. And let me take
it a step further: look for someone whos
even more godly than you are.
If you spend time with someone, youll
know whether theyre godly. One of the best
things to do is to go to church and worship
together. Have a Bible study together. If he or she
doesnt have an interest in doing those things, then
you have a problem already. Find contentment in
your singleness before you try to find
contentment as a married person.
Theres a certain flexibility in being
single. When youre unmarried, you have the
mobility to do things a married person never could
do. If youre in that moment of singleness in
your life, embrace the moment. Be the godliest
version of yourself that you can be. Serve the Lord.
Take the free time you have and use it for His
glory. You just may find that the Lord will drop
your future husband or wife into your life while
youre busy serving Him. [By Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]
One reason so many of us are stressed out
today is were rarely content with what we have.
We always want more - more money, more
pleasure, more power. We want more of just about
The Bible shows us another way, though.
The apostle Paul writes in Philippians
4:11-12: Not that I was ever in need, for I have
learned how to be content with whatever I have. I
know how to live on almost nothing or with
everything. I have learned the secret of living in every
situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty,
with plenty or little (NLT).
Lets be clear here. Its not that
Paul didnt have ambition. He was probably one
of the most ambitious people who has ever
lived. He singlehandedly took the Gospel all across
the Roman Empire.
But he had learned contentment. Ambition
and contentment have nothing to do with each
other. You can have both.
Contentment isnt laziness,
complacency, apathy, or fatalism.
Contentment is enjoying what you have
right now rather than waiting for something else
to happen so you can be happy.
It doesnt mean you dont want to
make progress. It doesnt mean you dont have
It just means youre happy with what
Too often weve bought into wrongheaded
myths that advertisers have taught us, like
Having more will make me happy.
Having more will make me more
Having more will make me more secure.
None of those statements are true.
Theyre all lies - and they keep us from the lasting
peace we long for.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:6: It
is better to have only a little, with peace of
mind, than be busy all the time with both hands,
trying to catch the wind (GNT).
Peace of mind beats relentlessly chasing
more every single time. [Daily Devotional by Rick
I am returning home today after being
gone for two weeks writing and doing a variety of
ministry things. I will be glad when I get home, but
I am also happy right now, sitting on the
airplane writing this devotional. I am leaving again
in five days to go somewhere else. I will also
be happy there, because I have decided to be
content no matter what state I am in (Florida,
Much of life can be spent thinking, I
will be happy when ... But the truth is that we
can be happy now if we want to. Contentment
should be based not on where I am or what I am
doing, but on knowing that wherever I am, God is
with me! He is our place in life, and in Him, we
can find joy and contentment.
You might not enjoy being at work as much
as you do being at home, but you can be just as
joyous either place. What we enjoy is determined by
what is happening around us, but our joy is
determined by the attitude we decide to have in life.
Make a decision to enjoy each thing you do and
each place you are, because Christ is your life
and He is everywhere, all the time.
Father, I want to stop dividing my life
into things I enjoy and things I don't enjoy.
Help me find joy in being anywhere as long as I
know that You are with me! [My Time with God by
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Restoring The Power by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: