Faithlife Sermons

Contentment (Philippians 4:10-13)

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Intro

Good morning! Will you turn in your Bibles with me to Philippians 4?
As you turn there, just a reminder to please check your bulletins for any announcements
Philippians 4:1–13 ESV
1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. 2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Will you pray with me?
Pray
This morning we’re going to be focusing on verses 10-13
Paul starts this passage by sharing how Paul is joyful that the Philippians have revived their concern for him.
That word “revive” refers to something that has grown to full bloom after being dormant for a while.
So, He starts this passage by talking about the support of the Philippians.
He knows they have always cared for him
The first half of verse 10 makes it seem as though they stopped caring for him, so Paul clarifies in the second half of the verse
He shares that he knows they have always been concerned for him. They didn’t lack sympathy, but opportunity
However, the Philippian’s gift is not what brings Paul comfort. he finds joy as long as the Gospel is being preached (1:18)
This leads us to verses 11-13 where Paul shares a lesson about contentment.
To the Philippians, with the previous verse in context, Paul was afraid that they may interpret his thankfulness as if he had last sight of his contentment in Christ.
He didn’t want them to think that it was because of their revived concern that he was able to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of his circumstance in prison
So, he takes the next couple verses to take the time to explain that his contentment does not come from anything but Christ.
And that is what we are going to be talking about
The proposition for this morning is this:
Proposition: God wants believers to be content
The goal for this morning is that we would fully understand God’s heart for us is to be content in Him in all circumstances
Contentment is not natural. Paul had to learn it...so do we. So to expect to hear this sermon and automatically expect to know how to be content is not reasonable.

Origins of Discontent

To start I want to take a look at the opposite of what it means to be content.
Let’s take a look at the origins of discontentment
The reason we’re going to do this is to give us a fuller understanding of what it means to be content.
However, I do need to give a quick disclaimer.
This morning, as we talk about contentment and discontent, I need to clarify that we are specifically talking about the context of our circumstances.
I fully believe there is such thing as holy discontent. This idea where we are not satisfied or content when we see things like social injustices or sin taking place.
God can take that discontent in us to spur us on to doing something about it.
So, as we talk about discontent, it will be in the context in this passage of Philippians. Where Paul is revealing the need for contentment regardless of circumstances.
With that being said, let’s look at the origins of discontent
Discontent, Stress, Selfishness and Unhappiness are opposites. Selfish people are never content, because they place too many barriers of desires that can never be gratified. Contentment cannot become rooted in you if you harbor distrust and stress, as the focus will be on your situation, and not who you are in Christ. Being discontent will prevent the work of God in your heart and your will.

Reliance on Circumstance

The first, most obvious one based out of this passage is that discontent is a result when our contentment is reliant on circumstances
When things are going well, we can be happy
When things aren’t going well, we tend to not be content

Desire for Comfort

When life is comfortable, we are tempted to forget the grace of God and rely on ourselves

Always Wanting More

Always wanting more
I know this one all to well
Ever since being a little kid, I have never been satisfied with what I have. I am constantly looking to the next best thing
I would start a collection of some kind and then I would convince myself that as soon as I finished that collection I would be happy.
But of course, as soon as I would get or finish one thing, I would long for something else.
I was always wanting more
I know that most likely every single one of us in this room, and watching on livestream have felt this very thing at some point in time
There are countless things out there that we could be striving for more of
More money, power, honor, there is something out there that I know each one want more of
I would love to just blame our culture for this issue. We live in a culture that teaches us to constantly strive for bigger and better things. While it is ok to try and better ourselves, there is a point when it can consume us.
However, our culture is not the root of the issue it is something that has been a problem for a very long time.
It is part of the ten commandments, don’t covet
Coveting comes from the root sin of Greed, which we know is one of the seven deadly sins
So, this is something that should be taken seriously.
When our discontent comes from always wanting more, we need to pay attention
The Old Testament warns that wealth tempts those who possess it to believe that they are self-sufficient, they have no need of God, and that they themselves are gods.
Proverbs 30:8-9 - who is the Lord?
Ezekiel 28:5-6 - King of Tyre claims is as wise as a God
Hosea 13:6 - Israelites became proud and forgot the Lord in the wilderness
Regarding wealth - Luke 16:13 and Matthew 6:24

To be Content…or to Not be Content

THAT IS THE QUESTION
By taking a look at discontent… what causes it and why it is an issue, I not want to present us with a choice.
Do we want to stay in this place of discontentment, or do we want to be content.
I know that relying on our circumstances for contentment, always desiring for more, and doing whatever it takes to be comfortable is not the will of God for us.
So, to be content, or to not be content, that is the question
The reason I have to ask is because being content is not something that comes natural to us.
Paul states in verse 11, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”
So, first of all, He shares that he has learned not only how to be content, but the need for contentment.
Because, just like we talked about, we are called to be content. It is the will of God for our lives
The term “content” was used by stoic philosophers of Paul’s time to mean “self sufficient” and in their view, this characteristic was the most valuable attribute of the wise person.
Contentment is the attitude of accepting whatever God provides, and being happy with it. It does not seek for gratification what is not needed, and does not seek happiness in the shallow things of life. When you are more concerned with how others are doing than how you are doing, you will be on the right track. (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; Romans 9:19-21; Philippians. 4: 10-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-9; Hebrews 13: 5)

Contentment is not Circumstantial

Contentment is not circumstantial - there is a variable (a range of circumstances) and a constant (Contentment)
Hardship tempts us to think that God is unmoved by our plight or is against us, and so we despair
Thus, when we experience difficult times, we need the moderating presence of God, who shows us by the cross of Christ that He is for us, not against us, and that He was so filled with love for us that He sent His son to die on our behalf. If this powerful truth dominates our lives, then we can face even the ultimate human hardship
To be full and to be in poverty requires the same amount of learning to be content
Charles Spurgeon says there are two kinds of poor. There are the Lord’s Poor and the Devil’s Poor
The Devil’s Poor are idle, show off their suffering
The Lord’s Poor are hardworking, industrious, working to better themselves, but not to the point where it consumes their lives

Spiritual Satisfaction

Learn the Secret

Content Through Christ

Contentment does not mean we can not ask questions. It is absolutely ok to ask God questions relating to our circumstances. This does not mean we should blame God or be upset with Him. Contentment means that we are trusting that His will is taking place
“I Can”
“I can do all things...” the “all things” needs to be taken in context of the passage. Paul does not mean that if we set our mind on winning an event in the Olympics that he is going to make us do it (especially if we expect him to do all the work).
“I can” sets up the believer to face circumstances head on. It is then that Christ steps in to Strengthen the believer while the believer is tackling the problem.

“Through Christ”

Christ steps in when our strength is no longer sufficient

Children’s Sermon

Can I have the children come up?
Alright we’re going to do things backwards today, is that ok?
I’m going to start by giving you candy. So, there won’t be anything in the back for you afterwards cause you will get it now
Give the suckers out. Do one half where they only get one, and give the other half three suckers
Have you guys been listening to the message so far?
What have we been talking about?
So, how did you guys feel when I gave you three suckers?
(To the other half) Ok, how did you feel when you saw them get three suckers?
So, after hearing what we’ve been talking about are you ok with only having one sucker?
How do you feel about having three suckers when the other half only have one sucker?
How do I exhibit being Content in my daily life?
What can I do to develop a mindset to trust God for all I have and need, thus choosing Contentment, even if I do not understand?
What blocks me from being Content?
How can I make Contentment function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
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