The Contentment Secret
by George Stroh
May 25, 2020
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. (Philippians 4:12)
There is something very intriguing and quite appealing about knowing a secret. I assume that is why the word "secret" is often used in marketing, especially self-help books promising the secret to personal and financial success. The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, shared his secret for being content, regardless of your current circumstance.
Notice that Paul "learned" the secret of contentment. Contentment doesn't just happen naturally, it is learned through experience. Paul experienced both poverty and abundance, and through these teachers, he learned to appreciate God's grace, mercy, provision, wisdom and faithfulness. He learned that God has a good purpose in every circumstance; And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) He also learned to remain joyful in the Lord and to be content even in difficult times; Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2)
You might be thinking that those who enjoy an abundance, which in a relative sense includes most of us, have no need to learn the secret of contentment. But abundance often brings greed, pride, selfish ambition, and an attitude of self-sufficiency apart from God's provisions; Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." (Luke 12:15) God is the owner, we are only stewards and godly stewardship requires faithfulness and contentment; But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. (1 Timothy 6:6, 7)
The secret is; I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) The "Him" is, of course, God who strengthened Paul and will strengthen every believer with the blessing of contentment in every circumstance as we trust and obey Him. Maranatha!