I'm beginning to hear more and more people saying I'm ready to get back to normal. We have been forced to change our daily lives because of an unforeseen event. This has been a trying time for all. A time that has caused many to question who they can trust. We hear a story from one outlet and it is a gleam outlook with no short end in sight. On the other hand, we get word from another outlet and we are told we have breached the pinnacle and we are on the downhill side of this. Truth is, I don't know who to trust.
So what are we to do… yes, we must be vigilant and wise in our decisions but ultimately this should be a time when we have turned to our Lord for comfort and assurance. We have allowed the current news cycle to dictate our feeling and forecast.
Paul writes in Philippians chapter 4:
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.
We know Paul has experienced some very trying times in his life. He has spent many of his day locked up in a cell or dungeon. It would have been easy to become angry and bitter… yet Paul took the opportunity to learn about God’s grace and mercy. ]
Notice Paul writes ‘for I have learned’… learning is not simply knowledge imprinted to a person… learning comes at a cost. As it was in school learning came at the price of studying. Study was never fun for me but it was necessary in order to learn. Then there was the learning I received at the hands of experience. Times I stepped out in areas of the unknown and learned the, good or bad, by trails and errors.
But for Paul this was a time he was learning more than just experiences or gaining a intellectual knowledge. Paul is telling us through all his experiences he has learned to be content. We are anything but content with the current situation but if that is all we learn we have missed a great opportunity.
Note the word learned - ti increase ones knowledge, be informed, to learn by use and practice, to be in the habit of.
Here Paul states that it isn't the current situation or the social climate surrounding him that dictates his state of being. Paul writes that he has learned to live each and every day totally surrendered to his Lord. When Paul was locked up in prison he was content with Jesus. When he was being rejected and removed from towns, he was content with Jesus. No one desires to be locked away in a dungeon but when they locked Paul away he seized the opportunity to write to the churches, people, and to a couple of young preachers and my how form the small damp dark cell has Paul helped you and I on many occasions.
Paul says he has learned to be content. The word content has the meaning of ‘sufficient for one's self, strong enough or possessing enough to need no aid or support, independent of external circumstances, contented with one's lot’.
Here Paul is saying what he possess on the inside is far greater and superior than a pardon form the King. You see Paul wasn't focused on situations or the current news cycle but he was totally given to serving his Lord.
May we too develop a learning that Jesus is our all and all… learn to be content not on good news but learn that Jesus living inside of you is all that’s needed to be content with any situation we will face. He is sufficient.