“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Paul was going thru a rough time and it wasn’t the first time. The Philippians offered help and provision. Paul appreciated what has provided to him even though he felt he wasn’t lacking anyting because he had learned to be happy with what he had. For this reason, he saw their offering as a gift rather than as something that he needed.
Paul expressed gratitude toward those gifts. He felt thakful and appreciated the grace in their gesture. Paul also recognized that their geature actually was good for them bacuase it shows of them to have a generous heart.
To live thankfully, our lives must be fillled with gratitude toward what we already have.
Our current culture tries to influence us to live comparing ourselves to others, wanting more, even when what we have is good or we don’t even have the resources for more. But that is not the mentality of the Kingdom. When your eyes are focused in God’s kingdom—which is not of this world—you don’t base your blessings on how much you have. There’s also no place for envy or greed. We base our feelings of blessings in knowing that we have a place in that kingdom and in having God by our side, even in times of need.
Paul went thru times of need in his ministry but he didn’t question his calling or his God? He didn’t find hinmself also comparing to others? He knew God’s place in what he had, as well as he knew what was truly from God.
When everything is bright and merry it is very easy to count our blessings. But, in times of need, are we also able to be happy?
True thankfulness starts with being content even when things are far from being perfect. A true thankful heart doesn’t feel like what he has is little or scarce, even against the greater things of others.We don’t think about not having the latest car model but that we actually have a car. We dont’t think about having that really big and modern house but that we actually have a house.
Is it fair to say that we our thankful if we complaint or find ourserlves coveting more?
We are not ready to move on to larger things in our lives or having more than what we need, if we dont appreciate the grace of what has already been given to us.
There is no gratitude where there is no contentment. Strive to be content in your life and you will start enjoying the benefits of being thankful.
When we are really thankful for what we have:
- We are not desperate to achieve what we don’t have.
- We are happy with what others have without having to regret that we dont have it. We admire what they have or have accomplished with inspiration.
- We are motivated to share what we have with others.
Paul said I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Learned.
It wasn’t an easy thing for him to do but he knew it was something required.
Whenever we have to change or learn something in our lives that is not easy but we know is what God wants: We can say as Paul said about finding contentement even in times of need: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
The fruit of a thankful heart is it’s generosity. We are blessed so that we can bless others. This is why Paul was happy that the philipians were helping him. It wasn’t because he was needy rather because as he had learned to be content they were learning also to share their blessings with others.