Paul is in prison and is writing the Bible. I don’t know about you but if I am in prison I am pretty sure I will not be writing the Bible. My friends to complain, my congressman maybe. But not Paul. In a very difficult situation he is living out contentment and exhorting other to do the same. In his thank you note to the Phillipians he show his appreciation for their generosity and then gives some great insight into the secret of contentment.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Underlined above we find that Paul has learned to be content no matter his situation. I don’t know about you but that encourages me because it means that contentment is a process. And can be learned.
Paul also says that he has learned a secret related to contentment and that secret is found in vs 13: the secret to contentment is found in the idea that I can do all things (be contentent in all situations) through Christ who give me strength. His giving me strength is the secret to contentment.
The only place we find Paul discontent is over in chapter 2-3 when he says he wants to know Christ more and he forgets what is behind and presses toward ministry goals that God has called him to do.
It’s funny that he is content with his stuff and discontent with his knowledge of God and effectiveness for him. Where many times we are discontent about our stuff and content our knowledge of God and effectiveness for Him.
It is possible to be content.