14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
Contentment isn't a given. It is a learned behavior/practice/outlook/feeling.
We are told we can't be content unless we ________. And then we chase after stuff and recognition and money...all the while never finding contentment. How much do we sacrifice to get some fleeting happiness?
Where we won't find contentment:
d. another person
Compulsive gambling is on the rise. In South Dakota alone 105 million dollars were lost in the Casinos last year and 129 million lost to video lottery. 2.6 people out of every 1000 people in SD are divorced....No-fault divorce.
Depression was 10 times higher after WWII than during the Great Depression. The More stuff we have the more depressed we get. The more primative a culture the less depression they have.
Paul says he has learned to be content.
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11
It is a practice -- the more you practice the better you'll get at it. At first it will be very hard and you'll be lousy at it. We don't want to feel discontent. We don't want to feel lack. If Paul can learn contentment in all situations so can we.
"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
"Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches." 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Paul's Secrets To Learning Contentment:
Contentment through prayer.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
God will fulfill your needs.
Contentment through peace.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 5:1
Contentment through the Power of God.
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
Contentment through the Provision of God.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Contentment through the Presence of God.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
We have a living Savior. We have the Holy Spirit within us. We are never alone.
Without God you can't be content. Jesus voluntarily suffered and died for each of us.
Peace of God through Jesus=Peace of God within us through the indwelling of the Spirit.
Are you content?