Summary: A sermon from Philippians to help those who are discontented.
The Secret to a Satisfied Life
Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity
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: everywhere 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.
Would you like to be a contented person? I already know the answer to that question. You are probably saying, preacher just tell me what to do and I'll do it. There are several things that can be learned from this passage in Philippians that will help us.
I. We need to praise God instead of pouting when we don't get what we want. V. 4.
"...in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Not to inform Him but to invite Him to meet your needs.
ILL - Missionary Robert Porteous and his wife were taken prisoners by Chinese communist bandits in 1931. This missionary couple was led to a lonely spot on top of a hill where they were to be executed. The Chinese leader said, "This is the place." and the executioner took a long knife from its holder and raised it above the necks of the courageous couple.
Certain death seemed imminent. What would you do in such a situation? This couple sang a hymn! Instead of crying and begging for mercy, the couple began to sing song of praise. The communist bandits stared open-mouthed as they heard Porteous and his wife sing:
"Face to face with Christ, my Savior, Face to face-what will it be? When with rapture I behold him, Jesus Christ who died for me."
These two missionaries were ready for death and did not take their lead from the men who held their lives in their hands. Instead they followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and worshiped their Savior whom they expected to see when their lives were taken from them. It appeared that this would be their last song. But, no order was given for their execution. The executioner returned the knife to its place, and the couple was released.
II. We need to display gentleness (sweet reasonableness) with others. Moderation has with it the idea of surrendering a portion of our rights in consideration of others. V. 5
III. We need to stop worrying and start praying for what we need. V. 6-7 Jesus said, that we are to "...take no thought..." for our food, our fashion, our fitness and our future! God's peace will "...keep..." our hearts and minds if we trust Him for what we need.
IV. We need to think about the right things and to do that we must discipline our thought life. V. 8-10
Paul says that they should follow his example. What they had, "learned, and received, and heard, and seen..." they were to do. If we have our eyes on the people we will become discontented. If we look on "...the things of others..." we will always be comparing what they are and what they have with what we are and have and that is a recipe for discontent. We are what we think!
ILL - The godly Scottish preacher Andrew Bonar penned a diary entry. He wrote, "This day 20 years ago I preached for the first time as an ordained minister. It is amazing that the Lord has spared me and used me at all. I have no reason to wonder that He used others far more than He does me. Yet envy is my hurt, and today I have been seeking grace to rejoice exceedingly over the usefulness of others, even where it cast me into the shade. Lord, take away this envy from me!" (Andrew Bonar.)