25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
It is not everyone who is truly content with life, we are often unsatisfied with many things. There are those who worry about everything, the clothes they wear, where they live, how much money they have, how many friends they have on Facebook, how many people follow them on social media.
The more they have the more they want, they have no sense of satisfaction or contentment. The accumulation of wealth and possessions only fuels a desire for further accumulation, yet there is no satisfaction.
I grew up looking for contentment and satisfaction everywhere, trying to please everyone. Smiled to be accepted, did things so I can be popular but was never contented, because the more I got the more I wanted. The more I gave the more people wanted. It became very exhausting.
You buy a house, before you know it, you want a bigger one, because your friend or your family member has a bigger and better one. You buy a car and after a few years you want something more prestigious, because your neighbour has something more prestigious. The manufacturers don’t help matters either, every year they come out with something new. Many of the manufacturers wet your appetite every year by announcing the latest gadgets and there are those who thrive on having the latest. Some people queue up for days waiting outside stores for the latest gadgets.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Have you yet learnt the secret of contentment? How content are you? How content are you with your life?
Paul said,” for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”.
How did Paul the Apostle get to this point in his life. How was it that a man who was one of the best in His field, a champion for Judaism, become so content being a “tent maker” apostle for Christ. What was the secret?
When we look at Paul’s early life, we find a man who was studious, zealous and religious. Killing Christians, hoping to please God and win accolades among the Pharisees.
So, what happened?
The secret lies in his encounter with Jesus. Paul’s true sufficiency was found in Christ, the One who gives him.
Paul said in his teachings that he had learnt what it means to be at the bottom, what it means to have nothing (TO BE ABASED) and still be filled with joy. Whether there was food on the table or not, whether he had money in his account or not, he had come to learn true sufficiency because his sufficiency was in Christ Jesus.
He had also learnt what it means to have, (TO ABOUND) to be abundantly furnished, and to flourish in life.
“Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need”.
When Paul says, “I have learned”, what he is saying to us is that there was a time when he would have been discontent with life. A time when he would have been upset and angry if nobody acknowledged him. He would have flipped if nobody acknowledged his service, his worth, when he could not handle rejection, suffering, hunger, etc. There was a time when he could not handle failure or success. But now, he can handle anything, not because of his prowess or his own ability but because of Christ Jesus.
Paul having had an encounter with Jesus, had gained and acquired the knowledge of what it means to live a life of contentment, no matter what life threw in his path.
His boast was,” I can do all this through him who gives me strength” Through Christ Jesus, his Lord.
Can you boldly say the same thing?
Yes, you can. It is Christ who gives us strength through the Holy Spirit to do everything that seemingly looks impossible. We have to learn from Him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Are you feeling unsatisfied, unappreciated, unloved, the world seems to be treating you badly? Are you isolated, confused, wanting more and more but you keep missing the finishing line? Come to Jesus and learn contentment and satisfaction from Him now.