A Wonderful Secret

Philippians 4:11-17 NIV

11   I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

12   I 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.

13   I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

14   Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

15   Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;

16   for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need.

17   Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 MSG1 Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. 2 Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. 3 I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!— 4 pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

(v. 17)

Christian giving is not a matter of finance; it is a matter of faith.

Types of Giving

  1. Grudge giving – I have to
  2. Duty giving – I ought to
  3. Thanksgiving giving – I want to

(vs. 11-12)

Contentment is:

  • Not complacency
  • Not cowardice

Numbers 13:31-32 NIV31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.

  • God’s power to be happy in situations you can’t change.

Circumstances in Life

  1. Things I can control, and I do.
  2. Things I can control, and I don’t.
  3. Things I cannot control.
  • Not allowing your emotions to be controlled.

Signs of Content People

  1. It doesn’t take a lot to make them happy.
  2. They do not use money or fame to define themselves.
  3. They do not use money as their primary source of security.
  4. They seek to be rich with the things money cannot buy.

Luke 12:21 NLT – “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

How to be Content

  1. Learn to avoid comparisons.
  2. Learn to adjust to change. (v. 12)
  3. Learn to draw on God’s power. (
  4. Learn to trust God to meet all your needs.

Philippians 4:19 NIV – And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:31-33 NIV31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

  • Believe that God uses all the experiences of life to enrich us and others.

Philippians 1:12-17 MSG12 I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. 13 All the soldiers here, and everyone else too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. 14 Not only that, but most of the Christians here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah. 15 It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. 16 One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. 17 The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.

Romans 8:38 KJV – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

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