Journey Toward Joyful Contentment - Philippians 4:4-20
Topic: Christian Growth Passage: Philippians 4:4–20
06.05.22 - Curt Mastbergen...Journey Toward Joyful Contentment .. Philippians 4:4-20
Our Sermon in a Sentence..Only a life with Christ as our Savior following His plan and relying on His power will move us forward in our journey toward joyful contentment!
-One dictionary definition of contentment reads “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are”.
- In contrast Webster defines discontent as “a sense of grievance or a restless aspiration for improvement”.
-One writer I read stated: “Contentment in the Greek language refers to self-sufficiency. Content, in this perspective, was highly esteemed and became a favored doctrine of stoics. To be content, one detached from outward circumstances and (had) resources in oneself to meet every situation.”
- The following statement I found best summarizes the world’s perspective of contentment: “We live in a time in which contentment, as defined by the world, is a hair’s width from our reach. By worldly standards we seek more success, more stuff, and more self-indulgent relationships”.
-Now let’s look at what the Bible says about contentment.
- We’ll base our study on the scripture passage found in Philippians 4:4-20 and then add additional scripture passages to build on what we learn there.
Philippians 4:4-20 (HCSBEC)  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence
and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.  Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.  I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed
your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it.  I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.  I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Still, you did well by sharing with me in my hardship.  And you Philippians know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you alone.  For even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my need several times.  Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit, that is increasing to your account.  But I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided — a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Keys to Contentment – #1 Right Priority
The first key to contentment is “having the right priority”.
Ecclesiastes 5:10; Matthew 6:19-20; Psalms 63:1
... but the conclusion seems clear; “our first key to contentment is that God must be our priority”.
Keys to Contentment – #2 Right Perspective
The second key to contentment building on the first is having the “Right Perspective”.
Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 3:5-6; 1st Peter 5:6-7; In Isaiah 26:3
... Contentment lies in having the right perspective! ...we are promised:
“You (God) will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You”.
Keys to Contentment – #3 Right Focus
The next key to contentment I find to be a daily struggle. This key is having the Right focus.
Habakkuk 3:17-19; 1st Thessalonians 5:16;
...Focusing on His attributes, things that are true, like:
-He is all knowing; He knows every detail of every situation you face.
-He is all wise; He knows the way to the best outcome in every situation, in spite of circumstances and in spite of our choices to the contrary.
-He is all powerful; He can carry out His will for each situation in spite of any forces that try to prevent Him, including all our actions to carry out our poor choices.
-He is all loving; He has our best interests in mind and will carry out His plan for His glory and our best interests EACH and EVERY time … whether we understand it or not, … whether we agree with or not, … whether we are cooperating with it or are doing our best to mess it up!
Keys to Contentment – #4 Right Role for Circumstances
With our 4th key to contentment, we’ll learn the Right Role for Circumstances.
...In our Philippians passage verse 11 Paul says,
“for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am”.
...Ask yourself: “Am I a thermometer or a thermostat?”
“Am I a thermometer registering with the ebb and flow of the good times and the bad times? If the day is going well, am I upbeat, do I have a good attitude and do folks enjoy being around me? Can the “weather” change quickly when the circumstances of my day changes?”
Or...“Am I a thermostat bringing a constant to my environment. Though I experience weather changes in my life am I able to control my attitude and behavior regardless of the ebb and flow of the good times and the bad times?”
Keys to Contentment – #5 Contentment is Learned
...In verses 9, 11 and 12 Paul repeats “I have learned” when talking about contentment. The last of our Keys to Contentment for today is “Contentment is Learned”.
...He tells us he has learned the quote “secret” to being content and in verse 13 he tells us the secret is: “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me”.
Not only do we have the comfort of learning contentment using His power, learning contentment has purpose in our lives.
...One quote I found reads “Your circumstances today are your schoolroom for contentment”.
Challenge: So where are you today with regard to joyful contentment?
-Are you ready, by God’s power, to move from where you are further down the journey toward joyful contentment that God has in store for you?
-Allow God’s work in your life to mold you, to make you more in His image and move forward in your Journey Toward Joyful Contentment.
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