by Tammy Phillips
May 20, 2020
Ever had a day when you did not want to get out of bed? Sleep had deserted you ? Ever had to give yourself a strong pep talk to get up and get going? Fear greeted you before your feet could hit the floor. Anxiety was loudly ringing the doorbell before you could pour the first cup of coffee. The unknown was waiting for you to rise, just begin its attack. Ever had to call on the Lord to help you rise much less get through the day?
I experienced all of this today between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. Then I remembered the words of Paul in Philippians 4:11:
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.”
Below is a short list from 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 of the trials Paul went through…
- Beaten times without number in danger of death.
- Five times thirty-nine lashes from the Jews
- Three times beaten with rods
- Stoned once
- Three times I was shipwrecked
- A night and a day I have spent adrifton the sea
- Exposed to danger from rivers,
- Exposed to danger from bandits,
- Exposed to danger from my own countrymen,
- Exposed to danger from the Gentiles,
- Exposed to danger in the city
- Exposed to danger in the wilderness
- Exposed to danger on the sea
- Exposed to danger among those posing as believers
- Experienced much labor and hardship
- Often unable to sleep
- Often in hunger and thirst
- Often driven to fasting for lack of food
- Exposed to cold without adequate clothing
- Besides those external things, the daily inescapable pressure of my concern for all the churches. Feeling the weakness, pain, sorrow and temptations of the people.
Notice, I said that he went through them. Not only did make it through and endure every suffering on the list, he said he was content in whatever state. Content is the Greek word, autarkēs, meaning sufficient for one’s self, strong enough, possessing enough to need no aid or support; enough in means or lot. Content is a derivative of arkeō, meaning to be possessed with unfailing strength, to be strong, to suffice, to be satisfied, to be enough.
Webster’s 1828 defines content as: quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; satisfaction which holds the mind in peace, restraining complaint, opposition, or further desire, and often implying a moderate degree of happiness.
Paul was saying that it did not matter where he was or what he was going through, he was content. Whatever his lot, God was enough. Wherever he was, his mind was at rest in Him. If Paul can say it, can we be encouraged to say the same?
I enCOURAGE you to join me and speak by faith, “I have learned no matter what. I am to be content. It is enough.”
Photo credit: @mamartphotos