God has dropped me right in the middle of chapter 4 of Philippians verses 11 to 13.
Philippians 4:11-13 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: every where 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.
On the way to work, as I listened, I kept going back over and over and over again repeating these three verses over and over. God was encouraging me with these words. I was meditating on these three verses this evening.
Abased: Reduced to a low state, humbled, degraded.
Abound: To have or possess in great quantity; to be copiously supplied; followed by with or in; as to abound with provisions; to abound in good things.
These two words. humbleness and good things! The fact is. I need to be there. God has taken me there since I have been bummed about my back. It shook my world and there were a few times yesterday that I secretly shed a few tears because in my mind I was too young to deal with this I would not be able to minister to our Jr. High like I could before as this degenerative bone disease progressed. As a man I wanted to not be that person to have to rely on others to get things done but it is going to happen, maybe not right away, but it will. Being content is difficult to do. Being content in the good things is easier to do than being content in bad times.
But Paul says something here in these three verses that caught my ear that I am not sure that I have ever seen before or heard taught on before. Paul says this:
I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
When I am full I am hungry and when I am hungry I am full. Even though I abound I suffer and even though I suffer I abound. This is a win win situation. No matter what state that I am in. I may be in pain, but I feel no pain because I have Christ. I may be discouraged, but I am still encouraged because I have Christ. I may be encouraged but I am still discouraged because I am away from my true home called Heaven and every breath I take gets me closer to home! I may be painless, but really struggle in the pain of my own sin but Christ set me free! Paul struggled with this, I struggle with this. I think we all do in some way shape or form. Paul learned from it as he said in the first verse.
I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Content is in a state of peaceful happiness regardless of the state my life is in. It is quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; easy; satisfied, so as not to repine, object, or oppose. That contentment is “perfect peace” that only comes from the Lord. How do I acquire that “perfect” peace. Trusting in the Lord!
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Only contentment in Christ will allow me to do ALL things! Only that “perfect peace” by trusting in the Lord will allow me to do ALL things!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
What is the ending result?
STRENGTH! God’s STRENGTH!
In the end Christ, is worth it all!