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Learning to Be Content

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”1

Philippians 4:13 is often used as a motivational verse when trying to reach new goals, entering a new season of life, or preparing for an academic or athletic event. However, when Paul wrote this, he was in prison. During this time Paul had found that basing your contentment on your circumstances is deceptive, but he had learned that his joy and contentment were found in the One who transcends any and all circumstances. He knew that he could do all things, in any situation, because Christ was the source of his strength and was in control. This is how he could truly be content.

I think the key point in today’s passage is that Paul learned how to be content. Our human nature may find it easy to complain when we face difficult situations, but we, too, can learn to be content wherever we are. Being content doesn’t necessarily mean that you resign to the fact that you may not get what you hoped for; instead, it means that we are willing to continue working faithfully where God has us, knowing that He is always teaching us and working through us.

I am sure there are things we would like to see change in our present circumstances, but can we be content in them and allow God to fulfill his purpose for us? If we trust that his plan is perfect, we know that he will give us all we need, be our strength wherever we are, and we will learn to be content.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, like Paul, we have also experienced good times and hard times. I ask that you help my response imitate his, and that I would learn to be content where I am, knowing that you are in control and that you will walk with me always. I can do nothing without you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’s name, amen.

1.    Philippians 4:11-13 (NTV).


Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.