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Being Satisfied In God Part 2

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Philippians 4:13 AV
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Introduction:

People seek contentment and typically in the world they assume that contentment is the absence of all problems.
That's not the true meaning of contentment because if that's what contentment is no one will ever have it because you can't be completely free from problems.
True contentment is being able to be satisfied and content in the midst of any problem.
That's the kind of contentment that God offers through Christ.
God alone can make us content in any situation and that's what we're learning from the Apostle Paul.
Now we are touching the heart of this great man, Paul.
We are finding that he is a man of contentment, he is a satisfied man.
He is a sufficient man.
We have noted back in verse 4 that he commanded us to always rejoice.
We have noted in verse 6 that he commanded us not to worry or be anxious for anything.
And we remember in verse 7 that he introduced us to the peace of God.
And in verse 9 he introduced us to the God of peace.
Here is a man who knows how to rejoice in every situation.
Here is a man who is free from anxiety and worry.
Here is a man whose heart is guarded by the peace of God and the God of peace.
Here is a man who now tells us that he has learned to be content.
Remember point one that we made last time?
That contentment begins with confidence in God's providence in verse 10.
Philippians 4:10 AV
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Contentment begins with a settled confidence in God's sovereign control of all of the events of life that ultimately are going to reach us for our good.
That's what he was saying by implication in verse 10, "I rejoiced when your gift came."
He was, you remember, a prisoner in Rome, he was captive there, chained to a Roman soldier, incarcerated in some apartment in the city of Rome.
He was a man who therefore had lost his comfort and his freedom.
He was subsisting on the bare minimum in terms of the necessities of life.
And here the Philippians had sent him a gift, perhaps money, perhaps food, perhaps clothing, perhaps some other amenities that he was in need of.
And he is saying...Look, it's fine, I know it didn't come any sooner because you didn't have any opportunity to do it any sooner.
He is content with the sovereign God who providentially orders opportunities.
And there is the base line element in contentment, that great confidence that God has not forgotten me, that God is attentive to me, that God knows the number of hairs on my head, that God understands everything about my life, maybe even puts my tears in a bottle, God knows my uprising and my down sitting, He knows my coming and my going.
I am the constant focus of His omniscient love and He orders everything in His universe to bring to pass my good. When you believe that, you will experience contentment.
The second thing that the Apostle Paul noted as an element of contentment is satisfaction with little.
Philippians 4:11 AV
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Here he implies that it was very little that was necessary to satisfy him.
Ø Here he implies that it was very little that was necessary to satisfy him.
If anybody could have said, "I've been in great want, very little food, very little subsistence, very great extremities in terms of the incarceration problem," he could have said, "I have great needs," instead he says, "I really don't speak from want at all."
How can you say that, Paul?
Because I assess my life and I say I can be satisfied with very little.
And we tried to convey that to you last Lord's day that we are to be content with food, and clothing and that's it.
And if God provides that, we are to be content.
The third point we noted last time in our look at this passage is that Paul not only showed confidence in God's providence and demonstrated satisfaction with little, but thirdly, he lived independent from circumstances.
Philippians 4:12 AV
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.
We have been initiated into the inside secret of how to be content in any kind of circumstance.
Ø I've been initiated into the inside secret of how to be content in any kind of circumstance.
It doesn't matter what it is...positive or negative, plus or minus.
And, beloved, again that is a component of satisfaction.
Satisfaction is not related to what you have.
Satisfaction is not related to what you don't have.
Satisfaction is related to living above that level and understanding the providence of God, the promises of God and being satisfied with little in this life, anticipating much in the life to come.

I. A Confidence in God’s Providence

II. A Satisfaction with Little

III. An Independence from Circumstances

IV. He was sustained by Divine Power (vs. 13)

Philippians 4:13 AV
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul says I am sustained by Christ who strengthens me.
You see, he had learned that no matter how difficult it was in the material world, there was a spiritual undergirding.
And I want to talk about this just a bit this evening.
Our adequacy and our sufficiency comes from being attached to the adequate and the sufficient one.
We are not really self-sufficient, we are Christ-sufficient.
It is because we are linked to His life and linked to His power in us that we have sufficiency.
Paul is saying..."Look, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
What does he mean by that?
Well he means I'm connected to Christ.
And because I'm connected to Christ, that is the life of Christ in the soul of man, He lives in me, the life which I live is His life living in me, , because of that I have a supernatural divine strength for every situation.
Now he does not mean, and I want you to listen carefully to this, he does not mean that I can go forever without eating.
He does not mean that I can go forever without drinking, or I can forever without sleeping, or I can be battered with 5,000 stripes and still survive.
He does not mean that. He knows that if he doesn't have food eventually he will die.
If he doesn't have something to drink eventually he will die.
And if he is continually pummeled he will die.
There is a limit to the physical extremities which he can endure.
But what he is saying is when I have come to the end of my own resources, then I experience the power of Christ to sustain me until a provision is made.
Now I believe he is talking here about the material world when he says, "I can do all things."
He could have said, "I can endure all things."
He uses a Greek verb, ἰσχύω that means to be strong, or to have strength.
He is saying, "I am strong enough to go through anything because of Him who infuses His strength into me."
He does not mean that I could live forever with no food.
He's not talking about a miraculous provision in that sense.
What he is simply saying is in those troubles of life, those extremities of life where I have no more human resources, I am infused with the strength of Christ.
The Bible says, "To him who has no might, He increases strength."
And Isaiah says in chapter 40, that great and familiar thirty-first verse,
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
He's talking about coming to the bottom, as it were, of human resources and finding there the strength of Christ.
Perhaps the clearest illustration of this is located at the end of .
If I didn't have this weakness, I wouldn't be dependent on Him.
If I could solve it, I wouldn't need Him.
So it's there for me to be dependent.
And in my dependency on Him I see His power manifest.
2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Now listen to this.
Ø Now listen to this.
He found his contentment in the manifest strength of Christ that comes to the believer when he has exhausted his human resources.
Now let me translate that into what I'm saying...contentment is a byproduct of distress.
Contentment comes when you experience the sustaining power of Christ in those times when you have no human strength.
To him who has no might, God increases strength.
If you've never been there, maybe you've never experienced it.
Paul says, "I'm content, I've seen the power of God."
We should be praying, you know, for enough distress in our life, for enough difficulty in our life to cast us on Christ that we might see His power explode in our behalf and therein to be content.
Through my life I have seen God do things that only He could do.
I would worry and fret and experience anxiety and a lack of peace and a certain amount of fear about my sufficiency if I hadn't seen the power of God manifest, wouldn't you?
But when I see the power of God manifest in the time of my extremity, when I have no other way to turn, but to cast myself on His strength and say, "Lord, this is a situation I cannot resolve, there are not resources for this, I am dependent on You,"
I see the power of God move and therein lies my contentment that He is at hand, that He is involved.
Listen, you can't get the power of God from a counselor, you can't get the power of God from a therapist, you can't get the power of God from some formula, you can't just change your entire life, experience the fullness of the power of God and contentment if you've been living a sinful pattern.
There's no quick fix.
Paul says, "Look, I can go through anything in the strength of Christ but I can't do it without the strength of Christ and the strength of Christ is only his when he walks in obedience."
Ø Sometimes it's not the product of their own sin, sometimes they need biblical instruction, biblical encouragement, biblical counsel and help.
But many people are looking for a quick fix of a pattern of sin that has led them to a result they can't resolve, that never will be resolved until they begin to live an obedient life.
How can you know contentment? How can I know contentment?
Being confident in God's sovereign providence, being satisfied with little, being independent of circumstances, and being sustained by God's power.
Here's the fifth point, the fifth factor in contentment, concern for the well-being of others.
Ø If you spend your whole life worrying about you, you'll probably never be content.
Ø As soon as you cease to be concerned about you and become lost in concern for others, you will experience contentment.
Ø The reason Paul was so content in any situation was that he was never the issue to himself.
Ø Read vs, 17.
Ø What a great statement.
Ø He says, "Now you sent me that gift to meet my needs, not that I needed the gift, I'm rejoicing not because I got the gift but because you gave it.
Ø What do you mean? Well it will profit to your account.
Ø What does that mean? We gave the money away, that doesn't profit our account.
Ø No, no, he's not talking materially, he's talking...what? Spiritually.
Ø What he is saying is you're going to know the blessing of God.
Ø In fact, he says it in verse 19..."My God is going to supply...what?...all your needs."
Ø You see, what makes me happy is not that I've got the gift, but that you got the blessing when you gave it.
Ø There's a man who is more concerned that the Philippians be blessed than that he be blessed, more concerned that they receive the benediction of God than that he have his needs met.
Ø That is so basic to contentment, to be concerned about others more than ourselves.
Ø We're going to dig into that point in the few verses remaining in this text next Sunday, and I'm also going to talk about the principles that unfold here for giving.
Ø It's a tremendous passage that culminates in that great nineteenth verse, "My God shall supply all your needs."
Ø But we'll have to wait until next time.
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