Learning to be content as well as happy with your life is not an easy task. I say this because we are constantly faced with ads, commercials, etc. that promote wanting better or newer versions of what we have or desire. In many cases, before we get used to a cell phone, for example, a new version is advertised or seen so it makes you feel that yours is old or out of date. Please take time, 10 minutes minimum, to read and study this lesson with an open mind.
Created: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Before we get into the lesson, I need to plant a seed of wisdom and faith in your mind. It has kept me from worry and anxiety in our stressful world. Jesus said (in simple terms):
- “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but
- your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
- 33 Seek [be concerned with] the Kingdom of God [give him first place in your life] above all else, and live righteously [his way of doing and being right], and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT)
STM Bible Lesson
Lesson focus: Philippians 4:10-13. Bible lesson background: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: At times Paul experienced definite financial and material needs, and at other times he had an abundance (v. 12). He learned how to cope with both need and plenty. The words I have learned the secret translate memyēmai (from myeō), which occurs only here in the New Testament. In the mystery religions it was a technical term meaning “to initiate (into the mysteries).” Paul used it here to suggest a kind of “initiation” (by his experiences) into being content when either well fed or hungry, and either in plenty or in want.
Paul said he could do everything—including handling poverty and living in abundance—through Him who gave him strength. This was not an expression of pride in his own abilities but a declaration of the strength provided by Christ.
Learn To Be Content And Happy With Your Life
You’ve made me very happy by sending me another gift. I know you were concerned about me all along, but you didn’t have the opportunity to send me anything until now. 11 I’m not saying this because I need something. I’ve learned how to be content in any situation. 12 I know what it’s like not to have the things I need, and I know what it’s like to have more than I need. I’ve learned the secret of being content in any circumstance. I’m content whether I’m well fed or hungry, whether I have more than enough or I don’t have enough. 13 I can do all this through the one who gives me strength. Philippians 4:10-13 (RAD)
I assume some of you are familiar with the KJV of Philippians 4:13 —“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me“—but have you put it in proper context? Paul tells us in verse 11 that he is not grumbling about his status because he has learned to be content or satisfied. Meditate for a moment on this “I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content”.
How to be content
One challenge in life is learning to be content. Of course, some may not accept this concept and do not think they are greedy or coveting when they dream of or desire what they believe is better than what they have. The goal is not to criticize or intentionally offend anyone but to inform.
This is ironic because godliness, along with contentment, does put us ahead but not in the ways some imagine. 7 You see we came into this world with nothing, and nothing is going with us on the way out! 8 So as long as we are clothed and fed, we should be happy.
9 But those who chase riches are constantly falling into temptation and snares. They are regularly caught by their own stupid and harmful desires, dragged down and pulled under into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money—and what it can buy—is the root of all sorts of evil. Some already have wandered away from the true faith because they craved what it had to offer; but when reaching for the prize, they found their hands and hearts pierced with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (VOICE)
Let us learn this basic type of contentment or happiness. And that is to be satisfied if you have something to eat and clothes to wear.
- So, are you content, satisfied, or happy with your life? This extends beyond things, consider your marriage, are you content with your spouse? Oh, we can probe into the most intricate areas of our life to see in what areas we have learned to be content. Think about it, are you completely content?
- Do you ever feel that you are not content with what you have because you always want more? Let the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 6:9 (ICB) speak to you: “So it is better to be happy with what you have than always to be wanting more. Always wanting more is useless— like chasing the wind.
- Have you ever felt like you are just settling and lack ambition? James 3:16 (NIRV) has advice for you: “Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things. Be happy with your life as it is, and focus on pleasing God!
All we need
And now I have everything [or received full payment], and more. I have all I need [or am fully supplied/filled up], because Epaphroditus [2:25] brought your gifts to me. They are like a sweet-smelling offering to God [a fragrant aroma], a sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to him.
19 [And] My God will meet [supply; fulfill] all of your needs from [according to] his wonderful riches [glorious riches; or riches in heaven/glory] in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:18-19 (EXB).
Verse 18 of Philippians chapter 4 helps clarify what so many miss when quoting verse 19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The gifts sent by the kind Christians at Philippi met Paul’s needs. What a wonderful God we serve, He provides all that we need including the ability to go through the tests of life!
More ways to be content
When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.” Luke 3:7-8 and 14 (NLT)
Learn to be Content – wrap-up
Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” 6 Let us be bold, then, and say,
“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 (GNT)
I hope that this message from God will teach us to value who we are, what we have, and how unique we are to the One who provides for all of our needs. Most importantly, He helps us learn to be content and joyful in spite of the situation or condition.
I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible lesson. Blessings to you and your loved ones—♥ Tim. ☺
Scriptures to read/study
Matthew 6:25-34 (31-33); Philippians 2:25-30 (25) and 4:10-20 (18-19). 1 Timothy 6:3-10 (6-10); Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 (9); and James 3:13-18 (16). Luke 3:7-18 (7-8 and 14) and Hebrews 13:1-6 (5-6).
Related studies/lessons/snacks for further Spiritual growth:
♥ Question for Learn To Be Content And Happy With Your Life: Are you happy with your life as it is?
See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.