Be Content

Philippians 4:10-14 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me has flourished again; wherein you were also careful, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 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. I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me. Notwithstanding you have well done, that you did communicate with my affliction. 

‘At the last your care of me has flourished again; wherein you were also careful, but you lacked opportunity.’ For a time, the Philippians ceased to help the apostle, but now their care for him had come to life again. He apologises for their lacking opportunity to help him. Paul was always thankful for the help but he never made any demands upon converts to support him. Here he does not speak of it to receive from them, but to praise them for their help (4:11-19).

‘For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Ten great lessons to learn: Be content under all circumstances (4:11). How to be abased (4:12); how to abound; in all places; in all things; to be full; to be hungry; to abound; to suffer need; that nothing is impossible through Jesus Christ (4:13; Matt. 17:20; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16). We must be thankful and content in life not striving to live above our means or status (Rom. 12:3).

‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.’ When we have God’s Word in us, through faith and obedience, (Rom. 11:6) we are in unity with Christ (John 15:1-7) and can only then claim to be able to do all things through His, and not our own, strength. All things: Do all things for God’s glory (1Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, 3:23). Do all things in love (1Cor. 13:4). To do all things without murmurings and disputings (Php. 2:14). Do all things in Jesus’ name (Col. 3:17).

‘Affliction’ [Greek: thlipsis] is not a disease, as usually understood, but tribulation. Not once is it used for physical sickness or illness.