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. - Philippians 4:11-13
Learning how to be content in any situation is incredibly challenging living in this broken world. To be able to say “it is well” no matter our heartache, to be able to say He is still good even when He doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we want Him to answer, we must have a deep rooted belief that God is good.
Every generation of believers learns this truth eventually - God is good, and He wants us to know it. His goodness flows to us as steadfast love and faithfulness, and it is present in everything He does. There are days we may question His goodness because life's circumstances can be overwhelming. But we can rest assured knowing this truth: if He wasn't going to use that hard thing in our lives for our good, it wouldn’t have happened. He has to sign off on every single thing that touches our lives. He’s sovereign over all. If God lets something happen, He is going to use it for good. He’s not the cause of evil, but He does allow it to enter our lives for a purpose.
I think this is one of the hardest concepts to grasp as a believer in Christ. People struggling through hardships often ask the question, If God is a loving God, why does He allow suffering in this world? Why does He allow so much pain into my life if He loves me?
His love is not a pampering love, His love is a perfecting love. He’s not after our happiness or our comfort, He’s after our true joy. His goal is not that we would live an easier life, His goal is that we would live a life that honors and worships Him. When we surrender our lives to Him, He begins the painful process of chastening so that we grow to be more and more like Him - more loving, more compassionate, more forgiving, more joyful, more patient, more gentle, more humble, more faithful, more self controlled. More of putting the other person’s needs over our own, more of a life focused on Him than on us, more Strength, more Hope, more Peace.
Not one thing in that list comes from life being easy. Nope. If you’ve grown in any of those areas, then you know it’s the hardships you’ve endured that have made you more forgiving and understanding of other’s challenges, it’s the trials you’ve walked through that has made you more humble and patient, it’s the heartbreak that you’ve known that has brought Strength and Peace into your life. Learning to let go and allow God to have His way over our way produces a life full of the Hope found in this verse.
Allowing these truths to seep deep down into your heart is the way to contentment. Paul believed in God’s goodness to his very core. It’s the only way he was able to endure the incredible challenges in his life. He faced each difficulty with a peace that came from knowing that God has good in the trials for Him. We can have that same level of peace when we respond to our trials in a similar manner - with a peaceful contentment that God is sovereign over everything we face.
Press on ~ You are loved 💗