“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress” Philippians 4:11-14 NKJV.
It’s easy to be content when life is going your way. It’s easy to be satisfied when the coffers are full and your funds are plentiful. But when things get tough, when the bills need to be paid, the car breaks down, and a child or a spouse needs to go to the doctor, then it’s more difficult to be contented.
The Apostle Paul had certainly learned these principles as he traveled on his journeys throughout the Middle East. Paul was a tent maker and he was single, but I’m certain that his funds collected from mending tents and making them, left him little for things on the road. But there was always a meal at some point along the way. There was always a place to lay his head down, even if it was on a dirt floor, or a sandy beach somewhere. I’m sure that other saints welcomed him into their homes and gave him food and drink.
There was a time in the past where he most likely had more of his physical needs met as he studied and met with others in the city. But now he had a different master. It was the one who spoke to him on the Road to Damascus.
He had a new mandate to fulfill, and he was zealous and filled with the knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to fulfill this task.
Many of us have had to live with scarcity. Many have lost jobs or some financial catastrophe has forced them to live in ways that the affluent have no idea of. Our world can close in very quickly on us because of a myriad of different expenses that need to be paid, and the responsibilities that we face.
We know that we serve a faithful God who will meet our needs more than what we may ask or think. He is creative and He does things in creative ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways.
And yet, contentment is the key. It seems that living a simple way where one can live with less can teach one wisdom. There is nothing wrong with wealth unless the wealth controls the person. It’s the “love of money” rather than the money itself that is the issue.
Of course people need basic necessities to survive, and oftentimes one confuses a need with a want. A used car or truck that gets one from one to another can provide the means rather than a Lexus or a Mercedes. And yet God wants to bless His people, but in what ways? Certainly as He provides for us, He also wants us to thrive and to be in good health.
Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth 3 John 1:2.
Learn the act of contentment, no matter what is going on in your circumstances. He can turn those circumstances around as you place your trust in Him.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?