October 15

Philippians 4:11-13 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Paul was expressing his gratitude for the financial support of the Philippian church. He didn't want them to think that he was desperately in need, as if Christ did not supply his needs. Unlike some shameful ministers today who plead for finances, Paul said that he trusted God to give him whatever he needed. If he was in need, there was a purpose in it and something to learn. If he had plenty, there was also a purpose and something to learn.

Paul had learned one of the great lessons in life. He could be poor or wealthy and not have either influence his attitude and ministry. He could be well fed or hungry and still walk in the Spirit seeking first the kingdom of God. He knew God has a purpose in all things and all circumstances of life.

How could he focus so completely on the things of God, to the extent that his even need or plenty did not influence him? He learned to rely on the strength of Christ. Christians often quote verse 13 out of the context of the passage. It is used to say, "God can help me do anything!" Well, that may be true, but the passage is referring to God's grace to do without as well as not allowing wealth to influence your attitude or decisions. That really takes the strength of Christ. Either is equally difficult, but in Christ we find the strength to face either circumstance.

Paul went on to say that God would be faithful to meet all the needs of the Philippians with the riches in Christ Jesus (verse 19). When we are faithful to bless God's servants, we can count on God meeting our needs. Don't be afraid to give too much. Be more concerned that you are giving too little. Learn the lesson that God had taught the Apostle Paul. You can do everything through him who gives you strength.

Consider: Have you found the secret of contentment in all circumstances?