This passage of Scripture is one of the most quoted and most misinterpreted sections of Scripture. The secret of the Christian life is learning how to live it out regardless of our circumstances.
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
- If Paul could do anything that Christ strengthened him to do, then why was he stuck in a prison cell for preaching the gospel?
- Jesus is not a means to what you want but an end to what you need.
1. God’s Provision (4:10)
- The very fact that you are still here is because God kept you.
2. Others’ Generosity (4:10)
- Compassionate concern from the Body of Christ meets legitimate needs.
3. Life’s Experiences (4:11-12)
- Discontentment can challenge those living in either prosperity or poverty.
- Contentment is not about what you own but about what owns you.
4. Current Perspective (4:13)
- The most telling sign of a mature Christian is contentment – not achievement.
- Contentment helps you become adaptable and available.
- Christianity is not following Jesus if “only this” happens, but “no matter what” happens.
If you require something else to make you content, you love that thing more than you love Christ.
I can do anything when Christ is my everything.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.