31 DAYS - CONTENT IN CHRIST (Post 8 - Content in Any Situation)

by - 6:43 PM

In Philippians 4:10-13, Paul discusses his own journey toward being content in Christ:

"I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me.  You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  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."

When Paul wrote this epistle, he was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Christ.  This happened to him A LOT.  Paul was frequently beaten, imprisoned, and stoned (attempted murder...let's be real, here) for preaching the Good News to the masses.  In this passage, he tells those in the church at Philippi "thank you" for their concerns about his life and well-being.  He then confesses that through all the trial and tribulation he has endured to make Christ known, he has found out how to be content.   

Now, I don't know about you - but I have NEVER been through the kind of ordeals that Paul experienced!  In fact, I would be hard-pressed to recall a situation when I was TRULY persecuted for my faith.  I mean, think about it...I'm sure we've all had a little opposition from time to time.  For instance, I'm sure we've all been gently ribbed by non-Christian friends for some of the stances we take.  But come on...nary a person in the U.S. of A. has ever had to endure multiple attempts at murder due to sharing the Gospel with others.  But these were the conditions Paul faced when he wrote this passage.

Paul spoke of being content in any situation: plenty, hunger, abundance, need.  If we are completely honest, most of us don't come very close to hunger or need.  Even as I type, I have had access to food, clothing, shelter, and medical care if need be.  Granted, some times have been tighter than others.  In fact, I can recall a certain week in college that I lived off of one box of granola bars.  But I have never been in Paul's shoes...and I continue to struggle with being content in Christ alone.

Although I not have much of a frame of reference for being in hunger or in need, I DO understand what it's like to have plenty and abundance.  As much of a blessing as those times are in my life...I gotta' say that I STILL don't praise God as much as I should. 

Am I content with the blessing of having a two-car household?  No - I frequent the used car ads, looking for upgrades.

Am I content with the blessing of having a very flexible, steady-paying job?  No - I often complain about wanting to leave my field in pursuit of something else.

Am I content with the blessing of having a refrigerator full of edible, healthy (and don't forget tasty!) food?  No - I find myself wanting to drive over to the Taco Bell to grab a smothered beef burrito with no rice!

Have mercy!  I would say I have a LOT of growing up to do in the area of being "content in any situation."  How 'bout you?

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