Summary: This sermon give four insights on learning contentment. 1. Learn Not to Compare Yourself To OTHERS 2. Learn To Adapt To CHANGE 3. Learn To Draw On Christ’s POWER 4. Learn To Trust GOD
The Joy of Learning Contentment
In 1965 the rock band, The Rolling Stones, released a song – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It became the Rolling Stones first number one hit in the United Sates.
In this world there are many people that seem to get no satisfaction out of life. They seem to be unhappy, unfulfilled and unsatisfied. They walk around in a season of discontent. They lack fulfillment in their lives. What is the secret of a satisfying life? Paul writes in Philippians chapter four:
“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)
Go ahead and circle the word – “content”. Paul is saying that in whatever situation he has found himself he has learned how to be content. But let me ask the question: “What is contentment?” I don’t think it is apathy. I don’t think it is being melancholy. I don’t think it is a spirit of laziness or adapting an attitude of complacency. It seems to be connected to taking a realistic view of your situation and adjusting to it. Contentment is independent from circumstances. Its power comes from relying on God – no matter what situation you find yourself in.
How can I find joy in the jungle of life? How can I find contentment in the mist of catastrophe?
Paul says contentment is learned. It’s not something that is instantaneous. The situations of life are the school house of learning contentment. The problem is – many people turn bitter instead of better when life deals them a bad hand. Some people never learn how to be content and they live life unfulfilled, unsatisfied and unhappy. How do you learn contentment? Paul gives four insights into learning how to be content.
1. Learn Not to Compare Yourself To OTHERS
When you compare yourself to others two things can happen:
A. You become prideful – because you see yourself better than others.
B. You become jealous – because you don’t have what others have.
Comparing yourself to others always leads to discontent. Paul tells us in verse eleven:
“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)
Paul has learned contentment – by not comparing himself with others. If you want to learn to be content you have to avoid comparisons. There will always be people that make more money than you. There will always be people who are smarter than you. There will always be people who are better looking than you. So what? These comparisons have no bearing at all on your own personal happiness.
Folks you will never find happiness by looking around at what others have or don’t have. The only way you will find happiness is by looking up to God.
Here are three misconceptions about happiness:
A. I must have what others have to be happy.
This is a myth. It is not fads or fashion that provides happiness.