“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content–whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance, or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-14, HCSB).
In response to their faithful financial support of his ministry, the Apostle Paul expressed his appreciation to the Philippians by making the well-known and oft-quoted declaration that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.
This assertion seems an unlikely way to tell the Philippians thank-you because he doesn’t even acknowledge the financial support they gave Paul to conduct his ministry. But, that’s precisely Paul’s point.
Paul explained to the Philippians that regardless of their financial support of his ministry, he was content no matter what his economic outlook and circumstances were. Whether he had a little or a lot, whether he was living in poverty or prosperity, whether he had rags or riches, Paul was content! He had achieved happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction!
And Paul had obtained contentment because he had learned the secret of happiness: “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Paul indicated that while he was grateful for the Philippian’s financial support, he didn’t actually need their financial support because it was Christ, not money, that powered his ministry. Paul had complete confidence in Christ’s empowerment and he didn’t have to rely on the generosity (or lack of generosity) of others.
So, Paul could be happy because he was assured that whatever his circumstances in life, it was God’s will for him because he completely relied on Christ to empower him in all that he did.
In Christ, you are not limited by your circumstances. When you lean on Christ to empower you no matter what your circumstances may be, you are expressing confidence in His ability to provide for your financial needs at whatever level that might be. And if you can trust Him to supply your financial needs, then you can trust Him in all things!
When we realize that what we have (or don’t have) is the direct result of Christ’s provisioning, then we have found the secret of happiness. Then we can be content…
Because we know that through all the financial undulations of life, in all of life’s ups and downs, it is Christ who both provides for us and strengthens us inwardly to be content with what we have, be it little or be it much!
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17, HCSB).
- Complacency or Contentment (hearthungerblog.wordpress.com)