The mantra of our age is: “You deserve better.”

What we have … is never enough. And it’s not just that we want more, it’s that we think we deserve more. This doesn’t just affect our attitude toward “stuff” but things like our self-esteem, as well. Some of us think way too highly of ourself and some of us think way too low. 

We aren’t content with who we are and our lack of contentment says a lot about who we are.

What is contentment? defines it as “being satisfied with what we have, who we are, and where we’re going.”

The Apostle Paul, even when imprisoned showed a remarkable heart of contentment.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:11-12

He lays out the extremes which make it hard to be content, using the most obvious arenas: humble means or prosperity, going hungry or being filled. Paul says in both of these situations he has learned (which means it doesn’t come naturally) to be content. It isn’t common sense and it goes against our culture. So what is the key to contentment?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

This verse is misquoted so often it’s embarrassing. We use it as a way of declaring that God will empower us to get what we want. But Paul’s point is exactly the opposite. The “all things” he is referring to is contentment with what we have now, who we are now, and where we’re going now.

For those of us in Christ, this should ring as good news. Because God has already taken care of us eternally in Jesus, we can find contentment in knowing God will take care of us now. The same God that secured our salvation will strengthen us whether we are in need or in abundance.

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