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.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. What a powerful scripture, but what does it really mean. Why did Paul make such a statement? Was he trying to say he could make a million dollars appear from the sky, or was he saying he could go 10days without eating because he has Christ. NO and NO
Paul was not teaching about climbing mountains or speaking to mountains here, Paul wasn’t talking about many things we have preached through this verse. The real message Paul was teaching here was contentment in Christ above life situations. How do I know this? CONTEXT.
As one of my favorite teachers of the gospel Rabbi Ken will say “You have to know the context of the text to understand the message of the text, and when you understand the context you can then get what the text is saying in context” Trust me he says it longer than this Lol.
Back to my gracetablet of the day Phil 4:11 says Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Paul said he is content in whatever situation he finds himself be it lack or abundance. You can clearly see that if you carefully read this verse 11 leads up to verse 13 and the message is contentment. This is something you should learn if you only rejoice in God when the testimony or blessing comes. You should always live your life full thanksgiving to God, your praise and joy should not be circumstantial but intentional.
A quick bible study: The church in Philippians sent things to Paul in prison and this book is considered one of Paul’s happiest letters. Amazing that he wrote this while he was in prison (Happiness in prison now that’s true joy). Paul wanted the Philippians to learn something I want you to learn today and that is the key to contentment.
THE KEY TO CONTENTMENT IS IN CHRIST NOT IN THE THINGS YOU HAVE OR LACK – Jide Adekunle
Paul lacked freedom but he was content, he lacked a lot of things in prison but he was also content. He shared with them that he knows what it’s like to abound in many things and how content he was then too. We can see that Paul was satisfied in both his lack and his abundance.
The answer to the question the key to contentment is in verse 13 where he says he can do all things (What things? To be happy when full, be happy when hungry, and also be content while wanting more) through Christ that strengthens him. The key is “through Christ”, Jesus is the key.
You cannot make someone who’s source of joy is his salvation dwell on any circumstance. Its practically impossible because having Christ in you is all that truly matters. As a Christian you need to hinge your joy and contentment on the fact that you are made perfect in Christ, with that as a foundation you can build yourself up from lack to abundance, and then from abundance to much more e.t.c
The message for today is not;
- Stay comfortable in your joblessness or lack, but stay content and happy while wanting more because you have Christ.
- Stay comfortable because you have much money, but stay content and happy because you know that even if the more wasn’t there you’d still have Jesus.
The message is in Christ you can always be happy irrespective of the circumstance. Prison or free, broke or rich, single or married (I know a lot of folks attach their joy to this, it shouldn’t be), sickness or health (Your joy in Jesus could be your way to health when sick).
Christianity isn’t a life without bad or evil it is a life we live knowing God is not the origin of the evil around us and at the same time staying confident because he will always turn what the enemy meant for evil for our good.
God Bless and have a great week
Thought of the week: You know you are content when you can be thankful and full of joy even during a storm.