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 
in want. 


   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 
with God. 
   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 
we think. 
   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 
you have. 
   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 
Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/] 

   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, 
Missouri, Arizona). 
   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 
Joyce Meyer] 




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 


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