Learned To Be Content

Date: PM
Text: Philippians 4:11
Psalters: 57, 114, 150, 159
  1. Contentment is an attitude of being happy with what one has or is, not desiring something more or different, satisfied.
    1. Contentment has to do with earthly things that are external: material possessions, relationships, circumstances.
    2. Contentment is the harmony of the things we have and the desire for those things.
      1. It is an equilibrium between the two; the continuous adjustment of our inner state with our outward situation.
      2. It is a sense of serenity, peace, joy, and well-being which fills us in every state and condition.
    3. The source and cause of contentment lies in the heart, not in things (from within, not from without).
      1. The reason for his satisfaction was because he learned to adjust the inner state to the outward.
      2. It is the spiritual power to adapt our inner state to our outward circumstances.
  2. This is a gift of beautiful grace; it is not a natural character trait.
    1. Natural man is carnal and always at enmity with God, so he cannot be content.
      1. There are attitudes which appear to be contentment, but really are not.
      2. Natural man’s delight is in self and in the things of the world, seeing them as ends in themselves.
    2. Contentment is a gift, given by the God of all grace through Christ to His regenerated and justified children.
      1. Redeemed from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4) we are delivered from the power of sin.
      2. The root of this gift of grace is the love of God in Christ for us.
      3. It is the tranquil assurance that all things work together for good.
    3. This grace is beautiful because it is from the gracious (beautiful) God.
  3. Contentment is a grace given, but also it is a lesson learned in God’s school of trying circumstances.
    1. Paul declares that he had to learn this lesson, i.e., be willing to be taught it.
    2. He and we have to go into God’s school and learn this lesson in the way of experience, prayer, and self-denial.
      1. This alerts us to the fact that contentment is obtained only by learning it in God’s school.
      2. For every Christian contentment is a gift of grace, acquired in the way of experience.
      3. It is a difficult lesson because God’s ways are often dark and rough, with no account given to us.
    3. We learn to be content in the way of trusting in our heavenly, wise, and loving Father.