Summary: Sermon about the ups and downs of life.

Phillipians 4:11-13

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I want to talk to us for just a little while, about….


How many folks here have ever rode on a roller coaster?

I have. I like to ride those things. Some of those things twist and turn, and flip you all over the place.

There is an amusement park in Sandusky, Oh. that has been in business since 1964. Since then, they have accumulated 16 roller coasters, which is more than any other place on the planet.

Their latest creation is a roller coaster called the “Top Thrill Dragster”.

The “Top Thrill Dragster” stands 420’ tall, and you are launched out of the starting gates by a hydraulic blast that sends you from 0 to 120 mph in 4 seconds.

But today, I’m not going to be talking about the Top Thrill Dragster. I am not going to be talking about the Zippin’ Pippin’, or the “Wabash Cannonball”.

But I’m going to be talking the most complex roller coaster that ever has been.

It will take you to the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.

It’s called “LIFE”.


-How many of you have, at some point in your life, had a real good day?

-How many of you have, at some point in your life, had a real bad day?

-How many of you have been having a good day, everything going the way you thought it would, and then, all of a sudden something comes from out of nowhere, and changes everything.

-How many of you have been having a real bad day, and it seemed like everything was going wrong, but all of a sudden, something happened, and made your whole life seem so much better?

Just like a roller coaster is designed with hills up & down, and sudden turns, the same goes for our lives.

There are days that are good, and everything seems to be going your way.

And then there are days that are bad, and it seems like the whole world is falling apart and crumbling down on top of your head.

Sometimes things seem stable, but there are some days when things seem unstable, and unsettling, and disturbing, and sometimes you don’t know what to expect around the next corner.

And, it’s the goal of the devil to get your mind on these things, and off of the goodness of Jesus.

The devil wants to drop you off a hill so steep that you are overtaken by it, and you can’t think about anything else except that hill.

But even when the mountain looks steep, and hard to climb, and the valley that you are in, looks too deep to ever climb out of, the scripture still holds true…that “…all things work together for good to them that love God…”

You may not understand it right now, but God does!

You may not see around this obstacle, but God does!

We’ve got to get to a point in our lives, that we are Content knowing that God is in control!

Back to our text….

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Paul said, Not that I speak in respect of want.

The Phillipian church loved Paul very much. And they cared for him very much.

They did things for him. While he was in prison, they brought him things that he needed.

And back in verse 10 Paul said, “10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again…”

He was rejoicing that they wanted to help him.

But Paul wasn’t rejoicing because he himself wanted anything, but because the grace of God was working through those Phillipians.

One hundred years ago, in a survey, families were asked to list all the things that they wanted, and the average American family had 70 wants.

About 50 years later, a similar survey showed that the average American family had nearly 500 wants. We are a generation that has more and more wants and we are less and less content with what we have.

I found an illustration of a cartoon showing two fields divided by a fence. Both fields were about the same size, and both of them had plenty of green grass. In each field there was a mule with his head through the fence, eating grass from the other mule’s pasture. At the bottom of the cartoon was the word – DISCONTENT.

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