10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
12 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.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me
Paul is closing out his letter to the church, and he wants to say thank you for their undying service and support for him. Here he gives us a picture of humility and appreciation for the body. This is important for us to remember because as Paul was appreciative of the service and gifts of others we too ought to appreciate the gift of service from other Christians in the body. We can learn a great deal from Paul’s attitude and Spirit toward the church. It would do us good to imitate him in our relationships one with another.
I. Paul’s Reflection
True Service unto the Lord is always marked by service. When the body of Christ is compelled by the Lord to move on His behalf, it usually always involves a type of action.
The Church in Philippi was a Church of Action. Paul here, remembers that they have always been concerned for him, and was always willing to support the ministry.
- This church was a giving church
- This church was a church of service
- This church was a church of generosity
All of these things ought to mark the believer as they walk together with other Christians through life. We should resemble this church. She had all of the qualities of a godly ministry.
II. Paul’s Recognition
Servants with grateful hearts work at recognizing humility. Paul is not asking for help here, but by remembering the church’s gifts he can recall how he has had to deal with many situations in life.
Servants who are content with what they have, and who they are can live in any situation and see the Lord at work in spite of their circumstances.
This verse implies that contentment is a learned behavior. It is both caught and taught. When one is content they have found the secret to happiness.
Paul was in prison but yet able to find contentment in his situation. How was this so? Because of Jesus, he was able to endure whatever came his way.
III. Paul’s Realization
- The secret here to the life of the Christian is to understand the life of contentment.
- The life of contentment is the life that is lived in the freedom from being possessed by possessions.
- The life of contentment can’t be ruled by possessions
- The life of contentment can’t be monopolized by circumstances; it supersedes this and any terrible conditions that I may find myself in.
If you have never been in need, then you cannot know what it means to not desire something, you can’t have. Paul say’s “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.” Every person has experienced this phenomenon at some time or another in life. But here Paul says it is quite possible to be in a dangerous area in your life and still be content in Jesus.
From the experience which Paul had in these various circumstances of life, he comes here to the general conclusion that he could “do all things.” He could go through any trial, perform any duty, subdue his nature, and meet all the temptations of prosperity or adversity.
His own experience with the changes of life had him arriving at this conclusion; and now he can easily express confidence that nothing that comes his way would be able to stop him. Paul was not boasting here but resting in the fact that he had learned how to view all things and to trust Christ through every situation.
Jesus does not only guide and direct the circumstances of our life, but he strengthens us in them and through them. The child of God cannot go through anything that their Father in heaven does not allow.
- As a child of God We need not sink under any trial, for there is one who can strengthen us. (Jesus is his name)
- As a child of God We need not yield to temptation. There is one who is able to make a way for our escape. (Jesus is his name)
- As a child of God We need not be harassed, and tortured with sinful thoughts and unholy desires. There is one who can destroy evil thoughts we don’t need. (Jesus is his name)
- As a child of God We need not worry about what is to come. Trials, temptations, poverty, want, persecution, may await us, at every step of life, but Jesus Christ is able to strengthen us, and can bring us through.
- What part of this lesson arrest your thinking?
- How can you apply this lesson to your life?