Paul had a list of challenges. He saw Jesus and was struck blind; then had to be led around. He was used to being respected and became an outcast. Even the church didn't trust him at first. He was shipwrecked, flogged, stoned. He knew hunger and cold. He was in prison for many years. Through all this (and not through incredibly "blessed" circumstances) he learned how to be content.
"I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:12-13
It's not natural to be content. Our natural state is we want more of _______. We never have enough. Satan uses this against us. He says if you do this you'll have more. What a lie!
Satan did this with Jesus in Luke 4. The first temptation was to turn stones into bread -- temptation for necessarities. The second one was proving Himself (throw yourself off the building. Angels will catch you). The third was about having all the stuff you'd ever want (I'll give you the whole world. Just fall down and worship me).
Jesus could have done any of that but that wasn't why He was sent. If He had given in, if He had cut corners to God's way, He would have negated His purpose. We will do the same if we live our way rather than God's way.
If we are not living in the moment, we are missing out. You are not creating a memory by videotaping it. You create a memory by living it.
Find your joy on the inside. Can't allow that desire for more control us or we will cut corners when we shouldn't. We will fail.
If our contentment isn't coming from within material stuff will take control. Without Christ there is no contentment.
God has all the big things under His control.
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8
Put your mind on the beauty. This is a learned behavior. Look for the beauty!
We don't undersatnd the lack in other parts. We just have to look around and find the joy.
The big secret -- remember what we have. God takes care of the big things. Don't look horizontally for contentment. Look vertically -- look up to God.
We gotta let go of the past (forgive everyone including yourself). Acknowledge baggage is there so God can deal with it for you.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
It isn't about self suffficiency. It isn't about our strength. God gives us strength. This verse is about contentment not about our own strength. We are insufficient. God is sufficient. Self-sufficiency will always fail.
God doesn't give us unlimited strength. He has unlimited strength.
It was neat to see the imperfection. When we aren't able to pull, He'll pull. He uses His strength to carry us. I can't do it alone. Be content with this. God's got us.
Life is not a DVD. We cannot fast forward through bad times.
Look at the other side of it. We can learn contentment.
Chlldren. When they hurt they run to Mom and Dad. They know Mom and Dad will make it all better. This is how we need to be with Father God. We need to run to HIm with everything knowing He will make it better.