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The Secret To A Contented Life

As Paul continues to wind down his letter to the Philippians, he shifts gears.  He gives his readers a secret, his secret, to living a contented life.  It is a lesson that we should all learn, but most of us struggle with this all of our lives.

Paul begins with the that fact that he was in a position that should have generated concern for himself by the Philippians.  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Truly the Philipppians’ concern had never waned for Paul.  They were among his greatest supporters.  There was simply a time where they lacked opportunity to help him.  They”revived” their concern for him while he had been imprisoned.  They sent Epaphroditus to Paul with help while he was imprisoned in Rome.  Paul rejoiced in the Lord due  to their love and compassion.

Paul is not dissatisfied with this lot, though.  Instead, he had learned to live no matter his circumstance.  Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  Paul is content.  Despite the fact that he is currently imprisoned by the Romans, he is content.  He has learned how to be content in any circumstance.

Paul has experienced every circumstance imaginable.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity;  Paul seems to have been prosperous at one time in life, probably before his conversion to Christ.  Since then, he has lived without that prosperity.  He knows how to get along with both situations.  Indeed, it seems that regardless, he will live the same now, whether has or has not.

Paul has learned the secret to living the contented life.  in any and every circumstance  I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  No matter the circumstance, whether he is hungry or full, suffering need or rolling in abundance, he knows how to remain content.

Paul has a center to his life that he turns to regardless of the circumstance.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Paul turns to the Lord no matter what his circumstance.  If he is hungry, the Lord strengthens Him.  If he is filled, the Lord strengthens him.  If he has abundance, he turns to the Lord.  If he is needy, he seeks the Lord.  He faces all of his circumstances by depending on the Lord for strength.

Does that mean that he discounts the good the Philippians want to do for him?  Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.  No, he considers that to be supplied by the Lord through them.  They have shared in both their abundance and their poverty.  They have lived out their faith by supplying him and sharing with him.

Paul’s life would be a roller coaster for many.  He has been up and down, rich and poor, hungry and filled.  Yet, he lived a contented life.  How?  By seeking the Lord in all situations and circumstances.

  1. skacyoung
    August 31, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Great thoughts. Interesting that in Matthew, Jesus talks about worrying and he ends it with Seek First the Kingdom.

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