No one is born contented with life. As babies we cry for our every need. As we grow up, we experience the frustrations and struggles of life. Yet through our hardships, we can learn how to gain contentment. Paul told the Philippians, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).
Paul realized that contentment is a state of the heart, not of affairs.
Contentment was not a natural skill or talent for Paul—he had to learn about it through experiencing both the highs and lows of life. Paul said, "I have learned . . ." Learning does not always come easily. It requires time, dedication, and a willingness to engage the necessary lessons.
Paul spent years at the pinnacle of prestige and power as a Pharisee before becoming a humble servant of Christ. He experienced times of plenty and times of near starvation. He lived in a comfortable home, and he dwelled in a prison cell.
Yet he did figure out how to find joy and contentment in both extremes of life. He realized that contentment is a state of the heart, not of affairs, and that contentment is independent of his circumstances. Paul learned that everything we have belongs to God, including life itself.
When we completely trust God to lead our lives in His timing and His ways, He will meet our needs.
Prayer: Father, help me to be willing to learn how to be content. Help me to trust You for my every need, no matter what the circumstance. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees" (Psalm 119:71).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon It's Contagious . . . Pass It On!, Part 8: LISTEN NOW