The Secret in All Things
Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV) -- Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
More, more, more. This is the spirit of the age we live in. We need more. We want more.
More of what? Anything. More money, more influence, more time, more stuff, and the list goes on. We are marketed to by companies who stoke this urge for more. Now, to be clear, it isn’t inherently bad to have ambitions, desires, or wants. The issue is this: can we learn to be content without thinking the next thing will satisfy us?
Our passage today teaches us a powerful lesson. Paul writes about his own journey on this issue with the church in Philippi. He says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Paul knew how to be content. He calls it “the secret in all things.” His situation did not dictate his contentment. He knew hunger, and he knew abundance. What was the secret? He could endure all things through Christ who gave him strength. Jesus was his peace, not stuff. So it didn’t matter if he had abundance or lack. He could be at peace with a lot, or with little.
How about you? Where are you looking for contentment? Have you bought the lie that contentment can only happen when you have everything you want? Paul teaches us a better way. That doesn’t mean that having abundance is bad, or wanting to have your needs met is unspiritual. It does mean that the Christian finds peace and contentment regardless of circumstances because he relies on Jesus.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some examples of having plenty and lacking in our culture today?
- How can the Christian find contentment in Christ?
- What does this passage challenge you with personally?
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