Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Learning To Be Content

Date: PM
Text: Philippians 4:11
Psalters: 66, 115, 152, 159
  1. The blessed condition.
    1. Contentment is an attitude of being satisfied with what one has been given or is, and not desiring something more or different.
      1. Contentment has to do with things that are earthly and external: material possessions, relationships, circumstances.
      2. Contentment is having the attitude which harmonizes with the things we have.
    2. The source and cause of contentment lies in the heart, not in things (from within, not from without).
      1. Paul knew no want, but it was not because he had everything.
      2. His satisfaction was because he learned to exercise the spiritual power to adapt his inner state to his outward situation
  2. Contentment 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.
    2. Contentment is a gift of grace, given by the God of all grace through Christ to His regenerated and justified children.
      1. It arises out of the realization that we are redeemed from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4).
      2. The root of this gift of grace is the knowledge of God’s love for us in Christ, so we trust His love.
      3. It is the tranquil assurance that all things work together for good, and that we have just enough in whatever state we are.
    3. This grace is beautiful because it is from the gracious (beautiful) God. Discontentment makes one ugly inside.
  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.
    3. We learn to be content in the way of trusting in our heavenly, wise, and loving Father.