Bible Reading: Philippians 4:11-13
“11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 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. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
How can we be content while friends, family, or even ourselves struggle? How can we be content when we’ve received a terrible mark in a test we thought we would ace? How can we be content when things just don’t seem to go our way, and the world is crashing down around us? How can we be content in every situation?
This is an important question that I’m sure most Christians have asked themselves at least once in their lives. But what is the answer? Well, I don’t know. I’ll admit, I’m not quite there yet. But we can learn this from reading the Bible.
The Bible tells us that contentment is not based on circumstances, gifts, or losses, but Christ- without him, we have nothing. No matter how much money, success, or popularity we have, we will never be truly content without Christ. This is because the strength required to be content in God and enjoy Him is not from us, but from our faith in God, our creator, and our sustainer.
Faith is a gift from God
Faith is a gift from God. We, as humans, are helpless in our sinful condition, and must rely on God not just to provide us salvation, but the means to save us- faith!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9)
We are saved by grace through faith, not by our works, but by the love of God. Thus, it is important to hold onto our faith, no matter the circumstance- It takes a divine strength to change us to see Christ as more valuable than anything else in the world, and for us to be content in Him. We need God’s strength and teachings to be content in every situation.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,” (Jude 24)
If it weren’t for God keeping us from stumbling, we could fall at any time, abandon our faith, and cease being a Christian- but we are called, and we are kept. This does not mean that you can throw away all your Christian duties and say that ‘God will do it for me’- but it does mean that if you hold tight, God will retain your faith, and make you content in Christ.
Therefore, we must pray, trust in God, and read his word, such that we can learn more of his glory and excellency.
Hold Fast in your Faith
So, we must hold fast in our faith. Easier said than done. Life throws so many obstacles at us that may cause us to falter- but though we may stumble, God will help us stand back up, and keep going- all we must do is rely on him. We are not perfect yet, but we must push on to the end.
These obstacles do not just have to be negative, however- things such as academic achievements, popularity among peers, or general success can pull you away from God just as effectively as something negative can. Success can make us feel self-reliant, self-sufficient, and make us fall away from God.
Satan is after our joyful faith in God. He sends stumbling blocks to stand in our way, stumbling blocks which are supposed to belittle God, and make us lose faith. It is because of this that we must read the Bible, to stay ever closer to God, and learn to be content in Christ.
To be content in God is a challenge- but it is one we can overcome, by knowing God, trusting God, and relying entirely upon God.