The Secret to Contentment: Philippians 4:12-13

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Christian Living

Many of us struggle with being content in our daily lives. We live in a culture that celebrates greed and laughs at contentment. But the Bible calls us to be content with what the Lord provides. The Bible shows that Jesus hates greed, even going so far as to say it is more likely for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24). What is the secret to being content though? 

Being content with our Lord’s graciousness is the key to a peaceful life. Paul says that he can do anything, and go through anything God sets before him because he knows the Lord will provide the strength to complete that trial. We too can do whatever God sets before us if we trust the Lord to provide. 

What is the secret to being content? Paul speaks on this concept in Philippians 4:12-13. Let’s dive deeper into what he said. Click To Tweet

Historical Context

Before we look closely at Paul’s words, let’s talk about the context that this book was written. Paul wrote the book of Philippians as a letter to the church of Philippi, a small Christian mission Paul planted on his second mission trip. The city of Philippi was full of many religions at the time, but Judaism was not prominent at all. 

There is some debate about the exact year Paul wrote this letter, but we do know he is writing from one of his many imprisonments because he says as much. Many scholars believe this letter was written during Paul’s time in Rome which would date the letter to about 60-62 AD. 

Finally, while there were many reasons for Paul to write this letter, the section we are focusing on was written to thank the church of Philippi for their concern and gifts during Paul’s imprisonment. 

Philippians 4:12-13 Meaning

Now that we have some context for Paul’s words, let’s look at his meaning in these verses. Philippians 4:12-13 says, “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 this through him who gives me strength.” 

Sometimes when we read verse 13 alone it sounds as though Paul is saying we Christians are stronger because we are drawing on God’s strength when we do things. While we do draw on God’s strength, that isn’t the meaning of what Paul is saying. 

Paul is saying that the reason he is content in whatever situation he is in is that he knows the Lord will provide for him no matter what. Paul knows God has not forgotten him in prison. He knows God still cares for Paul even though he is suffering, and he knows that in the end, God is with him no matter what. It is from that knowledge that Paul is drawing his strength to move forward. 

Real-Life Application

What does that mean for us though? Just like Paul, we know that the Lord loves and cares for us. Throughout our lives, we can take comfort in knowing that God will care for us, just as he feeds the birds and clothes the lilies in the field (Matthew 6:26-34). Be content in what the Lord provides you with because you know that He will provide. 

Visit ORBC

We hope these words offer encouragement to you today. If you are looking for a church home, you are more than welcome at Oak Ridge Baptist Church. We have service every Sunday at 9:30 and 11 AM. Visit us anytime! 

Contact us for more information on contentment!

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