Summary: The Secret of a Satisfying Life
How to Enjoy the Rest of Your Life
1 Th 2:4-10
Philippians 4:11-12 ".. I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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..."
• One hundred years ago it was figured that the average American had 70 wants. A similar survey taken recently showed his grandson had nearly 500 on his list.
• A typical market in the United States in 1976 stocked 9,000 items; today that same market carries 30,000 different items. And why is that? Because we have an obsessive compulsion to possess more and more things, thinking they will bring satisfaction in our lives.
• Half of all Americans today say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from nearly 60% in ’95. But among the 50% who are content, only 14% are “very satisfied.In a cemetery in England stands a grave marker with this inscription: SHE DIED FOR WANT OF THINGS. Alongside that sign is another which reads: HE DIED TRYING TO GIVE THEM TO HER.
- Paul’s Feelings - 1 Th 2:4-10
- Paul’s Experience at Phillipi - Sing in prison
- Paul writing to them - Philip 4
WHAT IS CONTENTMENT?
- It is not apathy,
- Definition: Contentment is independent from circumstances.
- You do not base your joy on the situation
- Joy comes from within.
- How do you get that kind of contentment and
satisfaction in life?
- It’s learned. It’s not instant,
- The teacher is Christ & the text book is the Word
HOW TO EXPERIENCE REAL CONTENTMENT
- ❶. Learn to Avoid Comparisons
- Comparing yourself to others always leads to discontent.
- v. 4 Not as pleasing men
- If you want to learn to be content you have to avoid comparisons.
- There will always be people that make more money
- People who have greater opportunities
- People who have fewer problems.
- None of these have bearing at all on your own personal happiness.
v. 6 - Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others
- I don’t spend my time comparing myself to other people.
- I keep my eyes the great news of the gospel
- 3 x gospel is used
Three misconceptions about happiness:
- 1) I must have what others have to be happy.
- That’s the myth behind all fads and fashions.
It’s just not true.
- 2) I must be liked by everyone in order to be happy. You don’t, you know. Many people spend so much time trying to win the approval of others. You cannot go through life without some disapproval
- Jesus couldn’t please everybody.
- You don’t need everybody’s approval to be happy.
- 3) Having more will make me more happy.
Howard Hughes was asked, "How much money does it take to make a man happy?" He said, "Just a little more."
- As your income goes up, so does your expenses.
I Timothy 6:6-8 "Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
- Possessions are temporary.
- HOW TO EXPERIENCE REAL CONTENTMENT
❷. Learn to Adjust to Change
Life is full of ups and downs
- Emotionally, physically, mentally, financially.
- What is certain is that life will change
- So how do you handle change
- Do you get frightened? Moody? Angry? Uptight? Philippians 4:12 NIV
12 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.
"I have learned to be independent of circumstances." (Ber)
- Paul experienced acceptance and rejection
- No matter what I go through I am not a victim.
- I choose not to be a victim.
- I am independent of circumstances.
- People say "I’m OK, under the circumstances."
- Circumstances were never meant to be something
you get under.
- Get on top of them. You don’t have to live "under the circumstances" -- that’s a choice.
- There are three kinds of circumstances in life:
- 1) Those I can control and I do it.
- Switch TV channels,
- If you’re hungry you feed yourself.
2) Those I can control and I don’t.
- This is not excuse for laziness.
- If you can change a situation you don’t need contentment – you need to get up and do something about it.