Life has ups and downs. At some points you may feel like there won’t be any more “ups”…only “downs” for you. Or, you may feel the opposite way. Everything is going great and you can’t imagine things being worse. Too often we measure our happiness and contentment by our circumstances. This is a dangerous measure. Circumstances can change in a flash. You get that phone call that changes everything. A relationship ends. Any number of things can change circumstances.
If you are a follower of Christ, you cannot find your happiness and contentment in circumstances. You must find it in the Lord. Paul writes these words in Philippians 4:11 “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” The word Paul uses means to learn from experience. Paul didn’t read in a book that he should be content in all things, he learned through experience. Paul had his ups and downs. He saw Jesus face-to-face. He saw God’s hand move in mighty ways in his ministry. He was also beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and stoned for the Gospel ministry. Through all this and more he learned to be content. He knew God was in control regardless of the circumstances in his life. Through his experiences he saw God’s faithfulness and he saw God meet his needs every single time.
The key for us is not only to read these words from Paul, but to see our life experiences through the lens of God’s perfect provision. All that He desires from us is contentment in Him. Because of Him, we can be content…not because of out situations but because He is faithful every time.