Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

“The Secret to Being Satisfied”

Philippians 4:9-13

 

Paul uses the word “content” in verse 11. This word speaks of “being satisfied with what one has, regardless of how small it might be.” Are you a contented person ? Are you satisfied with your lot in life ?

We live in a world of discontented people ! You might be saved and have much in this world and still not be content. Rather than living lives of grateful contentment, our lives are often filled with complaining. We “whine, pine and recline.” We complain when children are noisy, instead of being thankful that they are healthy and happy. We complain about our home, when thousands have no home. We gripe about work, when many have no jobs. Why ? We have never learned the secret of contentment !

There is a secret to satisfaction and Paul knew all about it. Look at his words : “I have learned”, v. 11, this word means “to gain knowledge”. “I know”, v. 12, this word means “to understand, to make a discovery”. “I am instructed”, v. 12, this phrase means “to be initiated”. Paul knows the secrets and he shares them with us in these verses.

 

Secret #1: Rejoice In Your Substance, vs. 10 & 12.

Be satisfied with what you have ! God knows your needs. All of us have material needs – food, shelter, clothing, etc. God knows ! He will meet our needs in various ways.

1. He may send it directly. Elijah and the ravens, 1 Kings 17.

2. He may meet our need through others. The Philippians gift to Paul, v. 10.

What does it take to satisfy us ? Is it gadgets, cars, clothes, money, keeping up with our neighbors? Instead of complaining about what we lack, how about praising God for what we have ? Regardless of what He provides, rejoice.

 

Secret #2 : Rest In Your Situation, v. 11.

Not In Self-Satisfaction. We should never settle for less than our best. We can be ambitious and still be right with God.

Not In Self-Sufficiency. This means “to be enough in one’s self”. Don’t fall for the stuff you hear from motivational speakers or the “smile and be happy” preachers. Things like “You can do anything you want, just put your mind to it.” Or “This is your best life now.”

Rest In Self-Surrender. This is the essence of God-Dependence. The Christian has hidden resources. This allows us to ACCEPT our situation and to ADAPT to our situation, which enables us to APPROPRIATE our situation. Every event in life becomes an opportunity to make Jesus known, vs. 1:12-13; 4:22.

 

Secret #3 : Realize Your Strength, v. 13.

Paul doesn’t say “I can’t”, that is the language of PESSIMISM. We hear this kind of talk everywhere. Churches can’t grow, or be great for God. Christians can’t witness, pray, or be effective.

Paul does not say “I can”, that is the language of PRESUMPTION. People say, “I can run my own life ! I don’t need God, the church or the Bible. I am the captain of my own soul and the master of own fate.” Take Christ out of Christian and what do you have ? I A N = “I am nothing !”

He said “I can … through Christ”, that is the language of POWER. This is dynamic contentment; this is dynamic Christian living. This is victory over every temptation; grace for every trouble; strength for every task. Jesus gives power to face life’s adversities. He gives the power to cope. He gives the power to enjoy contentment regardless of the circumstances, vs. 4:6-7.