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. Philippians 4:12
Listen: Philippians 4
In James 5:5, James points out that the landowners were living in luxury and indulgence, basically fattening themselves up for a day of slaughter. These wealthy people were living a life of self-indulgence while their neighbors were starving. The problem was not that they were rich. It was their lifestyle of luxury, self-indulgence and concern about getting and having more. They were not content. The Apostle Paul spoke about this too in Philippians 4:10-13. He says that he can be content in any circumstance because Christ gives him strength.
We struggle with being content today. Some of us can relate to the wealthy landowners because we are living lives of self-indulgence and luxury. We hope that gaining more stuff will bring us contentment, security and happiness. So we seek more, more and more stuff. Others of us seek experiences to give our lives meaning. Traveling abroad or climbing a mountain becomes our desperate attempt to grasp for significance. The problem is not money, material things or even experiences—it is a lack of contentment.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
One great way to develop a heart that is content is to write in a gratitude journal. Last week, we had you write three good things in your life about God. Look over the list of things you wrote (or do it today) and thank God for these great gifts. Add to this list by writing down three things you are thankful for. Then thank God for these and other blessings he is pouring out on you. Want to learn more about contentment? Consider the book by our Senior Pastor, Jeff Manion, called Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.