Summary: After Jesus healed the 10 lepers they went away and only one came back to thank Jesus for the healing. Jesus said, “Where are the 9?” 10 people experienced a miracle and only one came back to give thanks.
Thank your way to joy.
As Paul ends his letter to the Philippians he gets very personal. He is thanking them for the gift they sent him. It is obvious when you read these verses that Paul has learned a great important lesson, to be thankful. As a matter-of-fact, one of the great themes of the Bible is to have the attitude of gratitude.
You may recall when Paul was talking to Timothy about what the last days would be like; one of the characteristics of the lost soul is being unthankful.
One of the saddest passages you read in the Bible is when Jesus healed 10 lepers. All 10 with a deadly disease and separated from their families. After Jesus healed the 10 lepers they went away and only one came back to thank Jesus for the healing. Jesus said, “Where are the 9?” 10 people experienced a miracle and only one came back to give thanks.
Let me tell you something that will probably change your way of thinking; get a piece of paper and write down as many as 100 things you are thankful for. You can start out with as many as pop in your mind and keep adding to them till you get at least 100. As a matter-of-fact, Paul will give us some to start with on our list. I think there are more reasons to be thankful then you will realize. Paul is going to get us started on our list. You can actually thank your way to joy.
You can be thankful because in Jesus you have SATISFACTION. Look at what Paul says in verse 11. “I have learned in whatsoever state I AM, there to be content.” Not many people know satisfaction or contentment in their life.
I heard about a Quaker who wanted to teach his neighbors the important lesson of contentment. He announced to them that he would give a lot of land to the most contented person in the neighborhood. Later on a man came and knocked on the Quaker’s door. He said I have come to get the lot of land. The Quaker said, are you contented? He said oh yes, I am the most contented neighbor you have. The Quaker said, if you are contented, why do you want my lot of land?
Would you say there is more complaining today than there is being thankful? Sometimes people complain their children are noisy instead of being thankful their children are healthy and able to make a noise. Sometimes people complain about their job instead of being thankful they are able to work and have a job. We need to learn to be grateful to the Lord for the things we do have. Thanksgiving always produces joy. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, we ought to be thankful for what we do have.
Paul has learned to be content not only with his sustenance but also his situation. He said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content.” You might think that is easy for Paul because he is in revival meetings, staying in a fancy hotel. That is not the case; he is in prison in Rome. Paul learned, to have Jesus in your heart you have the best that life can give. He was content and satisfied in Jesus.
You can also be thankful because in Jesus you can be STRENGTHENED. I love this verse. When I graduated from Fruitland, a lady stitched this verse on a cloth and framed it for me. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”