I have always been intrigued by a statement Paul made in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have LEARNED, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Real contentment is something we all want, yet it eludes many because many don’t allow themselves to be “schooled” as did Paul. As a Christian, we know the deal that such satisfaction can only be found through Christ. We know that “in theory” yet sometimes that breaks down in practice as we hit those “road bumps of life”.
Pity the poor folks at our church who hear repeat illustrations from their pastor but for any not in our church this may be the first time you have heard this poem. If not, its worth repeating. It came from a little eight year old girl:
“Oh what a happy soul I am,
Although I cannot see !
I am resolved that in this world
contented I will be !
How many blessings I enjoy
that other people dont,
To weep and sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, and I won’t !
The great hymnwriter Fanny Crosby who was blinded by a quack “doctor” in her infancy refused to allow her situation to ruin the life God had given her. So she gave God her best and she gave us in turn many great hymns we still enjoy today like “Blessed Assurance”, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”, & “All the Way My Savior Leads Me” . She was friend to many of our presidents and a great many more “common” people. She had memorized huge portions of the Bible like the first five books for some, and all in Braille !! There was a girl who refused to let her handicap get the best of her. She too had learned contentment.
Still I wouldn’t say Fanny or Paul learned that through a simple decision of the will. No, I think Paul clues us in as he writes in vs.13 that confident remark we’ve maybe said, thought or had spoken to us in times when we felt weak or discouraged, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” HE is the key here undoubtedly. If you read the context of that verse Paul was saying that no matter what happened, whether “abased” or “abounding” he had been “instructed” in the lesson of contentment thats not based on a good day or a bad day but a good and powerful God !
If you’re saved then just like Paul and Fanny Crosby, YOU have that same good and mighty God too. And whatever is on your plate today, draw from His peace and strength and be content !