LEARNING TO BE CONTENT

BY:  TROY NICHOLS

Questions:

  • Would you like to be stable, steadfast, established, and full of joy and peace regardless of your circumstances?
  • Are you are tired of being a yo yo Christian, up when your circumstances are up and down when your circumstances are down?

Phil 4:11 I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (See other translation below for this verse)

  • I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
  • I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.
  • I have learned to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am in.

Learned simply means to gain knowledge or understanding by experience (which simply is something that you have personally encountered, undergone or lived through). 

Examples:

What would you learn if you touched something hot?

What would you learn if you didn’t pay your electric bill?

What would you learn if you your gas hand was on empty and you passed all stations?

What would you learn if you passed a cop doing 90mph in a 55mph zone?

What would you learn if you went out in the winter with just a short sleeve shirt on?

Content means to be satisfied

  • You might not be content with your circumstance, but you are to learn to be content in Christ in your circumstance.  We can see a picture of such contentment in Acts 20:22-24 where it reads, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Synonyms for content: at ease, can’t complain, pleased as punch. 

Php 4:11

I have learned to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am in.

This verse is not saying that we must be satisfied to the point where we don’t ever want to change, but satisfied to the point where we are not disturbed or disquieted.

  • Both of these words have the prefix DIS attached to them. This prefix signifies the opposite or absence of something.
  • Disturbed means to throw into disorder (thus the absence of order).
  • Some synonyms for disturb are: confuse, depressed, disheartened and distracted.
  • Disquieted means to take away the peace (thus the absence of peace).
  • Some synonyms for disquieted are: worry, fear, restless.

Many will ask this question;How can I have this peace and be at ease when I am going through such circumstances as I am going through?”

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep (maintain – to keep in an existing state) him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: BECAUSE he trusteth in thee.

  • The flip side of this coin is, he will not keep him in perfect peace who does not trust in him
  • To trust in Him simply means that we are confident and assured that He is in control of what we are going through and nothing could happen to us unless he allowed it.  

I want to give you a few scriptures below to show you clearly that our Lord and our God is in control of what takes place in the affairs of his creation of which you happen to be a part of.

Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Ezra 7:27 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.

Prov 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Jer 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Remember we said earlier that the Lord would not keep him in perfect peace that does not trust in him and because of lack of trust, this person would sooner or later become discontented.

Discontentment (depression – displeasure – dissatisfaction) leads to complaining.

  • Many are only satisfied when they get their way. Everything must go exactly as they plan and if it doesn’t they are not satisfied. This type of person as a result of their attitude will spend much of their life being discontent (void of the peace of Christ).

Php 4:11 I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

  • I want to take this word circumstance and break it down for you and give you some insight that I believe will really help you in your daily walk with the Lord.
  • Circumstance is made up of two parts.  Circum, which means circle. Circumstances thus could be likened to a circle of events in ones life.
  • Stance, which means a way of standing, it also speaks of attitude (temper, mood, opinion, character, belief) and viewpoint (simply put – your point of observation – are you looking at Jesus or your circumstances?)
  • Peter observed Jesus and walked on the water in the midst of a storm, he then observed the storm and begins to go under the water that he had just walked on (Mt 14:30). When Peter’s viewpoint changed, his attitude changed immediately.

Deut 8:26 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness (around in circles – circumstances), to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

Deut 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb (desolate – void of peace), saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:

Deut 2:3 Ye have compassed this mountain (Mt Seir – which means rough) long enough: turn you northward.

I think that about now some of you are saying, yes brother, it has been long enough. I am ready to have the peace of God in my life on a steady basis. I close with the following scripture and trust that this word has helped you in some way.

Col 3:15 And let (determine) the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

  • Note that it says to let (determine) the peace of God rule in your hearts, we see in Isa 9:6 that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so with that in mind, let us understand that it is Christ in you desiring to bring forth his peace (Jn 14:27) in and during your circumstance.
  • All you have to do right now is DETERMINE (call the shots – decide) that from here on out, the PRINCE of PEACE shall rule in your hearts.
  • Your maturity is measured by how you respond in the midst of your circumstances.
  • Your reaction in the midst of your circumstance will determine your destiny.  Peter responded in fear and went down.  We are to respond in faith and arise.  Selah.

LEARNING TO BE CONTENT [Troy Nichols]          1

 

 

 

 

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