Paul Learned the Secret of Contentment

The apostle Paul explained in his letter to the Philippians, “I know indeed how to be low on provisions, I know indeed how to have an abundance.  In everything and in all circumstances I have learned the secret of both how to have abundance and how to suffer want” (4:12).  Paul sounds so confident, so optimistic it would be easy to assume that his life was rosy when he wrote these words, but not so.  He was in prison in Rome – Philippians 1:12-14.

Given that sobering fact, this passage speaks powerfully on the issue of contentment not only with material possessions but with circumstances as well.  Extremes of wealth or hardship can test our priorities.  Paul spoke of spiritual resources that enabled him to be content regardless of material circumstances: “For all things I have strength by virtue of God who imparts power to me” (Philippians 4:13).  Rather than looking to his possessions, many or few, or to his circumstances, good or bad, Paul looked to God to satisfy his needs.  The result was contentment. Paul’s example was especially important to Timothy.  The apostle urged the young man to pursue a life-style that put godly devotion and a close relationship with God before wealth.


Bro Moses Dhlakama (Rimbi, Zimbabwe)

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