This past Sunday, I taught two of the most quotable verses in the Bible:
Philippians 4:10 — I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:19 — And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Really, be honest. How many times have you quoted one or both of those scriptures to convince someone else (or yourself) that things will get better, that you can do absolutely anything you put your mind to, that your “increase” is just around the corner?
But look at the context. Philippians 4:10 is wrapped in the context of Paul’s great need and his abilities to be content, no matter how good things get, or how bad they get. Philippians 4:19 is wrapped in the context that God will always give you enough to be generous in supporting His ministry.
What things can I always do by Jesus’ power? Be content, even when the flesh can’t find contentment. What needs will God supply according to His riches? The needs I have while pouring myself out for Him.
It’s Wednesday, and God’s been reminding me of that sermon all morning. I’ve been praying about several areas of my life that have seemed especially “weighty” of late–just areas that are discouraging and scary. Areas that have had me praying for change.
“God, things are hard and I need encouragement. They’re getting heavy and I need you to step in. They’re confusing and I need a word.”
Well, He gave the word (again) this morning. Maybe it’ll resonate with you as well.
“Alan, be content in whatever situation I put you in. You’ve Christ in you, and you have the promise that I’ll fill whatever genuine need you and/or the church has, according to my riches and my glory (and my timing).
Alan, you have a contentment problem, not a ‘circumstance’ problem.”
OK, Lord. You are God and I am not. I am yours and not my own. You love my family even more than I do. It’s Jesus’ church and not my own. I will trust you, and in that trust find contentment.
The thought that He’s given me to get through the day is this, and maybe it’ll get you through a day or two when you need it.
“How can God trust you to serve humbly in the good times if you won’t serve humbly in the hard times?”
In other words, if you think you deserve better than you’ve been given, while you are living in the humility of the hard times, how can God trust you to serve humbly in the glory of the great times? If you can’t be humble over little, how will you ever be humble over much? As much as it goes against our fleshly logic, if you can’t be content with little, you’ll never be content with much.
Learn to be content with little because until you are you’ll never be given more. God’s great oxymoron is: You’ll never really be given more until you stop needing it so much.