Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content (Philippians 4:11 ESV).
I have a lot to worry about today.
On my list for prayers this morning: Grandkids and their spiritual future, my health, upcoming financial needs for Discipling Another, several people placed as a prayer burden by the Spirit in the middle of the night, upcoming trips, and some concerns for Fellowship.
Along with burdens, we encounter daily frustrations.
Today, Wednesday, I’m driving to Nashville with my wife. Yesterday, her tire went low and by driving on a flat tire, both the tire and wheel need to be replaced – to be fixed on Thursday. While at the shop with her, I decided to get my oil changed and tires rotated. The technician found a nail in the side of my tire. The needed new tire will arrive late Wednesday.
Now about that trip to Nashville.
Normal worries, things that happen, and then the evil one prowls about.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Daily concerns, accidents, and if that’s not enough – Satan stalking us. Contentment is too easily ruined.
One of the most frustrating passages in the Bible – especially after two flat tires in two different vehicles on the same day – is Paul’s statement, “I’ve learned to be content in all situations.”
I should be a better person. I’m envious of Paul, but sometimes I lose it.
Back to Philippians 4:11 when Paul says, “I have learned…” Learning experiences daily life, deals with the unexpected, and understands spiritual warfare.
Paul “learned,” which means he had days of losing it. I feel better now. The Apostle Paul and Pastor Grant – simpatico!
Paul, Grant, and you will experience three types of difficulties: 1. Daily concerns; 2. Stuff happening unexpectedly; 3. Spiritual warfare. In all three, God wants to teach you how to be content.
The contentment can’t be taught without experience. Our hope is that what we encounter builds our faith. This is the secret of Paul’s contentment. Our trials aren’t just about us, but enable God’s ultimate plans.
Let me repeat: The secret of Paul’s being content is knowing your purpose. Hope enables peace in difficulty, while anxiety and fear destroy it. Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Whether or not both wheels fell off of Paul’s chariot in one day, he did walk to his own execution in peace. He learned to be content in all things.