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. 


   On a recent family beach vacation, we 
watched hermit crabs swap shells. Several hermit 
crabs were crawling around, so we lined them up 
near an empty shell, biggest to smallest. Sure 
enough, the largest hermit crab, first in line, 
started checking out the empty shell. He must have 
liked it because suddenly he popped out of his 
shell and stuck his worm-like rear-end into the 
new shell. He found something bigger and better. 
This started a chain reaction. Each hermit crab 
crept out of its current home and plopped into the 
empty shell in front of it. 
   We're not that different from hermit 
crabs. We live in a culture that encourages bigger 
and better. Whether it's a job, home, vacation, 
car, or mountain to climb, we spend enormous 
amounts of time, money, and energy looking for 
what's bigger and better. I have. We moved from a 
small apartment to bigger homes. I wrote books, 
hoping each one would outsell the last. We planned 
vacations, seeking bigger and better experiences. It's 
an exhausting, vicious cycle. 
   Paul wrote incredible wisdom about this 
empty desire, while in a dank, dark prison. He had 
learned the secret to contentment: knowing Jesus. 
Paul experienced wealth and poverty. He knew 
without a doubt that nothing brings the lasting 
satisfaction we crave except knowing Jesus. He closed 
this chapter in Philippians with the promise, 
"And my God will meet all your needs according to 
the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" (v. 19, 
NIV). Let's stop struggling for more and discover 
true contentment found only in Jesus. Jeannie 
   Faith Step: Read Philippians 4. Meditate 
on it and find contentment in Jesus. [Mornings 
With Jesus 2021 Devotional by Guideposts and 


Finding Satisfaction
   God has provided us with many things to 
enjoy. But too often our lives are filled with 
turmoil instead of contentment. Four practices that 
create dissatisfaction are  
   Busyness. We live in a hurry-up society, 
dashing from one activity to another. Jesus did not 
rush anywhere, yet He accomplished whatever God 
gave Him to do. Not once did He tell His 
followers to move faster. He even praised Mary for 
choosing to stop her work and spend time with Him 
(Luke 10:39, 42). 
   Earthly perspective. Too often we live 
focused on our circumstances. Our minds think about 
what happened earlier in the week, whats on 
todays agenda, and the activities occurring next 
week, month, or year. No wonder enjoyment of life 
remains elusive. The solution is to have an eternal 
perspective, which acknowledges that God is in charge and 
our goal is to please Him. 
   Self-imposed pressure. We have all 
experienced the unavoidable burdens of schoolwork, 
employment, and relationships. But we bring needless 
pressure on ourselves when we allow unnecessary 
musts and shoulds to rule us. The remedy is 
to turn to God, acknowledge His right to order 
our days, and ask for His plan. 
   Unhealthy attitudes. Perfectionism, false 
guilt, and apathy all undermine our enjoyment of 
   Satisfaction is found in a life that 
reflects Gods priorities - and time with Him comes 
first. Reading His Word, we become mindful of the 
Fathers great love, learn what He views as 
important, and experience the joy of belonging to Him. 
When contentment is elusive, its time to 
examine our priorities. [In Touch Daily Devotional 
by Charles Stanley at www.intouch.org] 


Secret to Contentment
   Paul is under house arrest in rented 
quarters; he refuses to focus on that. He is far from 
home, and his future is uncertain; he doesn't let 
that concern him. He is bound to a Roman guard 
every day; no problem. Because he has made Christ 
the object of his life, contentment has replaced 
frustration. He's taught himself to live above his 
circumstances. The benefits? 
   First, the progress of the gospel is 
accelerated; it's never delayed. In his letter to the 
Christians in Philippi, Paul passionately confesses, "I 
want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances 
have turned out for the greater progress of the 
gospel" (Philippians 1:12). Because of Paul's 
attitude regarding his predicament, his testimony 
spread like a firestorm through the ranks of the 
Roman guard. Systematically, God's Spirit leveled 
the towering pride of the Roman military. 
   Second, when you live above your 
circumstances, the edge of the message is sharpened; it's 
never dulled. Paul exclaimed that his chains had 
become the reason the entire palace guard had come 
under the hearing of the gospel. That was no 
insignificant statistic. By Paul's account, the message of 
Christ's love permeated the ranks of the imperial 
guard, which some scholars suggest were as many as 
nine thousand. Amazingly, the revival started 
with one Roman soldier chained to one man - but 
not just any man. That forced union became a 
springtide of grace to the whole Praetorian Guard. 
   There's a third benefit to living above 
your circumstances: the courage of others is 
strengthened, never weakened. Paul's unlikely converts 
were not sheepish about their newfound faith in 
Christ. I take it that they didn't hold back. 
Rather, they grew increasingly more courageous in 
their witness. I find that so exciting! 
   The secret to Paul's contentment did not 
emerge from a manual on how to live the Christian 
life or from a workshop on positive thinking. He 
didn't have access to a stack of self-help scrolls 
promising to shore up his sagging self-confidence. 
Paul's secret was not found in a program, but in a 
Person. Christ made the difference. He taught His 
servant to endure all situations, every 
circumstance, each difficult challenge, no matter how 
adverse, through His power. Paul released all rights 
to His Master and, in turn, He released all the 
strength Paul needed. [Chuck Swindoll 


   I suffer from bouts of discontent, times 
when I seem to focus on what's lacking in my life 
rather than on what abounds, which, by most 
standards, is plenty. Take where I am today. We 
recently moved to the Florida Gulf Coast, a physical 
paradise and the fulfillment of a dream for me and my 
husband, Ray. 
   Many of our prayers have been answered. 
We found a wonderful, affordable home in a 
beautiful community. Our children are adjusting more 
quickly than we hoped. Ray and I are also meeting 
wonderful people with whom we already feel close 
affinity. I have made some excellent freelance 
contacts. Ray has landed a gratifying job. We found a 
great church just minutes away. We can clearly see 
God's hand in so many things. 
   Yet I find something to long for. If only 
our community had basketball courts for my 
ten-year-old athlete. If only my husband's job paid more. 
If only we had room for a kayak This speaks to 
the misguided expectation of perfection I have 
that will never be, this side of heaven. Unlike 
Jesus, Who lived a simple, sacrificial life, I 
grumble through even the best of times. 
   Gratitude fills my half-empty cup. By 
focusing on the many promptly answered prayers and 
their virtues, I can see more clearly that my cup 
overflows. by Isabella Yosuico 
   Faith Step: If you haven't already, start 
a prayer journal, handy for noting prayers and 
concerns. When prayers are answered, check them off 
and make a point of thanking Jesus for those 
blessings, every day. [Mornings With Jesus 2018 
Devotional by Guideposts and Zondervan] 


Everything You Need
   Are you hoping that a change in 
circumstances will bring a change in your attitude? If so, 
you are in prison, and you need to learn a 
secret of traveling light. What you have in your 
Shepherd is greater than what you dont have in 
   May I meddle for a moment? What is the 
one thing separating you from joy? How do you 
fill in this blank: I will be happy when 
________________? When I am healed. When I am promoted. When I 
am married. When I am single. When I am rich. 
How would you finish that statement? 
   Now, with your answer firmly in mind, 
answer this. If your ship never comes in, if your 
dream never comes true, if the situation never 
changes, could you be happy? If not, then you are 
sleeping in the cold cell of discontent. You are in 
prison. And you need to know what you have in your 
   You have a God who hears you, the power 
of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, 
and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the 
Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for 
every turn, a candle for every corner, and an 
anchor for every storm. You have everything you 
need. [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at 


Philippians 4:11, 12 - The Secret of 



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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