top of page

Finding Contentment

As Paul concluded his joy-filled letter to his fellow Believers in Philippi, he made clear that he was not a victim of circumstances, but that he was a victor over his circumstances! Paul found his contentment in Christ and that was all he needed! This kind of mindset enabled Paul to experience joy on his journey and it will do the same for you and me!  

One of the biggest reasons people don’t experience joy in life is because they’re discontent.  Paul says something that is vitally important in life, yet many people just miss it. 11 …I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11b. Paul didn't become content as soon as he surrendered his life to Christ; he learned, by experiencing some hardship in his life, that he could be content. Contentment comes in time, not in an instant; but all of us must find it or lasting happiness will elude us our entire lives.  

This word “content” means “contained” or “from within,” and in the Greek language was used to describe someone who was “self-sufficient.” For Christ-followers, our contentment comes from within, not from ourselves, but rather from Christ living in us. He provides all that we need for the demands of life. So how can we find contentment in life that leads to joy on our journey?  In Philippians 4:10-20, we discover three key resources that lead to contentment in life. 

1) The Overarching Providence of God. (Philippians 4:10)

Paul was grateful for the gift he received from the Philippian Church; a gift that came at just the right time in his life! There are moments in my life when I recognize God’s hand at work, especially when I look back. Hindsight is 20-20, but hindsight also gives us a glimpse of God’s providence. God is often at work in advance to arrange circumstances and situations for the fulfilling of His purpose.  (Gen. 50:20)

Paul experienced the overarching providence of God in his own life again and again, causing him to write: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 


Paul recognized the overarching providence of God in his life, and that recognition caused him to be content, no matter what his circumstances!  If you’re struggling with discontent, the remedy is, in part, to trust that God is at work in your life, even when you may not know it, see it, or fully understand it!  Trusting that is key to experiencing contentment and joy on your journey.  

2) The Unfailing Power of God. (Philippians 4:11-13)

Paul’s happiness in life came apart from poverty or prosperity. He had learned the secret of contentment.  It was the power of Christ at work in Him!  In fact, the Greek word for “strength” in this passage means “to put power in” or “to empower!”  We need that unfailing power of God in us. Without the power of His Spirit dwelling in you, and a deeply rooted faith and trust in Christ, you will be weak at your core, shallow rooted and vulnerable in the storms of life.  

Paul’s motto was: “I can, through Christ!” The truth is, there will be plenty in your life where you may be tempted to say “I can’t,” but through Christ, you can! I have no doubt that about that. I have witnessed it and I have experienced it. By His unfailing power, I’ve seen broken lives mended; by His unfailing power, I’ve seen fractured relationships and marriages restored; by His unfailing power I’ve seen wounded hearts and minds healed. The unfailing power of Christ at work in you and me does what we can’t.

3) The Unchanging Promise of God. (Philippians 4:14-20)

Paul was grateful that the Philippian Church stepped up to support him when others hadn’t. He recognized their gifts represented a sacrifice for them and their sacrificial giving pleased God.

Paul references the image of a fragrant offering to describe their giving, a reference to the incense burned in the temple to honor and worship God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites are commanded to give to God a tithe. (Malachi 3:10). And it comes with a promise!

Paul says that, because of their sacrificial giving, the Philippians could expect God to meet all their needs (4:19). From personal experience, I can say, with absolute certainty, that after walking through three building campaigns at Watermark that required sacrificial giving, God always keeps this promise. You can’t out give the Lord! (2 Cor. 9:6-7). When I give in that way, it is a fragrant, pleasing offering to God; and I am storing up treasures in heaven, not on earth. Storing up treasures in heaven are the best investments we can make on earth! 

How was Paul able to experience such joy in his life, especially given the fact that he was chained to a Roman guard 24-7 as he penned this letter? Because he didn’t let his circumstances control him. Paul experienced joy on his journey because he found contentment; contentment rooted in the overarching providence of God, the unfailing power of God and the unchanging promise of God… and you can too!

For much more, click here to listen to: Joy on the Journey - Part 11 - Finding Contentment.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page