Summary: We have questions and God still has the answers if we are willing to listen
God has a positive answer
We are still in the series looking for answers.
It is our fifth week and we still have questions.
We looked at why we do the things we do.
Why we give, the principal and blessing that God has for faithfulness and obedience.
Last week we looked at the hope that is within us. Looking at not everyone is going to make heaven home. No matter if you believe that or not. Our hope is in Jesus Christ and without Jesus Christ, you and I will not make heaven.
This week, we will look at contentment.
I know some of you have had a rough week.
I know we still have questions, and I know God still has answers.
We have a choice to be bitter or we have the better choice of trusting God that He will reveal answers to us at the right time and until then, we will trust Him.
Before we turn to the text, you have to understand that Paul is in prison, chained to a soldier, and already has in his mind that He may never escape or be set free. He believes he will die in prison.
He receives a letter from the Philippian Church because they want to reach out to him.
Here is his response. Here is the way we should answer God when we don’t have all the answers.
Philippians 4:10-13 slowly and clearly
What Paul says to them is this! Thanks for your concern, I have been in these spots before and maybe you didn’t have an opportunity to help but in the meantime, I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances.
I have learned the secret of contentment.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
The secret, which the world has not gotten is that in everything I do, and everything I go through, that I need God to help me through, and in His strength, not mine, I will make it through.
Actor Alan Alda- “it is not necessary to be rich and famous to be happy, it is only necessary to be rich.”
That must be true because of how happy we see actors and Hollywood people.
U.S. News and World report say that most people think if they had double what they make they would be living the American dream. If you make 25,000- you need 50,000. If you make 100,000- you need 200,000. Double what you make and you could be content.
Being satisfied is a tough thing for most people. Evidenced by large debt on credit cards because they live higher than their incomes.
Paul from prison tells us that He has learned the secret of contentment.
Contentment in the dictionary says- satisfied, positive and well pleased, not disgruntled and disheartened.
One Bible commentary says:
“ quiet restfulness in the midst of changing events. (I like that)
The problem with contentment is like a dog chasing his tail. You are never fast enough to fully grab hold , you just fall down from being dizzy and trying. The hardest lesson I have had to learn, and at times I have to be reminded is that I am not in control of my life. (repeat) Paul learned it in and out of prison. In plenty and in need. So that whatever circumstance he is up against he is satisfied and content that God has his best interest in mind.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
King James-“ Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”
God does His best work when we take our hands off and allow Him to do what He needs to do.
Paul learned and so do we, that deep level contentment transcends circumstances.
Gratitude without attitude!
Material abundance does not eliminate anxiety, money does not eliminate anxiety, it shifts one focus to another. Getting things to keeping things!
As a believer, there are scriptures that should be embedded in our memories for times when we are faced with things that are beyond our control.
Isaiah 54:17- “No weapon forged against me will prevail”.
Romans 8;28-“ All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.”
Matt. 7:7- “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”
Phil 4:19- “My God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.”
Rev 21:4-“ God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”
The best lessons God has taught me has been in the wilderness. (repeat)