Learning to be Content in Christ

There are certain things that happen in a believer’s life by solely the work of the Spirit of God. Such things include the salvation of a soul, receiving a miracle of healing from an ailment, deliverance, financial breakthrough etc.

But there are other aspects of the Christian life that as believers we ought to partner with God to experience in our lives. One of such experiences is the refinement of our characters to conform to the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of such characters is developing contentment in all things, always and everywhere.

In Philippians 4:10-13, Paul reveals that contentment is a learned trait. Contentment is not one that is supernaturally weaved into your heart of a believer, but one must do the work to learn to be content in his or her life. In short, contentment in life is a learned trait by the help of God.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your[a]care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to [b]be abased, and I know how to [c]abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through [d]Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13 NKJV

The need for a believer to be content is pertinent to maintaining and walking in the peace that Jesus Christ gives us. Without contentment one will always miss out on the peace of God in his or her life.

Here I want to share how one can learn to be content like Apostle Paul that in whatever state we may find ourselves in life, we will always be able to exhibit the character of contentment.

In this life, one will always be in perpetual need for something. The needs or wants we pursue in our lives comes from what we see, hear and societal standards which create desires in our heart. Naturally, a person will always find him or herself needing more, no matter how much he or she already have. For example, a single person desires to be married, after marriage would want kids, when the kids arrive, would want kids to grow and achieve some things in life, would want to grow their career, achieve beautiful things in life and the list is endless. Our drive for wanting is never satisfied. Pursuing things, we want, or need are not bad, but it becomes problematic when we base our need to be content in our attaining of such things.

But in Philippians 4:10-13, Paul highlights that no matter what situation that may present in his life whether he is hungry or full, having plenty of having nothing, He is always content. “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. And I wonder how is Paul able to do that? The answer is right there in Philippians 4:13, He partners with God to attain this posture of contentment. Christ strengthens Paul to be always content. Paul learns that life will always present with endless needs for a person. Before Paul came to know Christ Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he was focused on attaining all sort of achievements and excelling in his societal and religious expectations as a devout Jewish man. Paul after being saved soon discovers that in the fulfillment of one’s needs or wants still lies emptiness. The achievement of the things of this world does not bring contentment hence Paul realizes he will not let the lack or plenty of life needs determine the state of his being. Paul learns that contentment is found in only that which can truly satisfy the longings of the heart and that is God alone. Paul makes this great discovery of learning how to be content to preserve the peace he has in Christ and not allow situations or circumstances to cause him to miss out on God’s peace. Yes, indeed some states or situations in life are extremely challenging and even just inhumane but when one learns how to turn to God to fill that emptiness of their longing heart instead of the world one will truly be content. Contentment is a state of mind when one is positioned to say God is enough for me always as I live.

It is my prayer that we all will come to the place where we will learn that the things of this world can never satisfy us and as such our hope to be content should never be sought in them rather turn our heart and minds to the one who has the bread and water of life which when we feed on, we will never go hungry and thirsty. God is the only one who can satisfy us. Be blessed Beloved in Christ and seek contentment in Christ alone.

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