It happened to be the last week of our Bible study with our girls on Saturday morning. We finished up in Philippians 4:10-23. It was a powerful lesson and I wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned through this lesson. It is about being confident that God is in control! There was a puritan writer by the name of Jeremiah Burroughs who defined contentment as: Christian contentment is that sweet inward quiet, that gracious frame of the spirit which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. It is understanding and believing that when we are walking right with God and know that He is in control of all that happens to us, that brings His peace and contentment no matter the circumstance in our lives.
Discontentment comes when we want to control everything. It is essentially taking the place of God in our own lives and not trusting in His sovereign plan. People seek contentment and typically in the world they assume that contentment is the absence of all problems. This is not the true meaning of contentment. It is not about being completely void of problems. True contentment is being able to be satisfied and content in the midst of any problem. That's the kind of contentment that God offers through Christ. God alone can make us content in any situation and that's what we learn from the life of Paul here in Philippians.
It was amazing studying Philippians and the life of Paul. He went through so much yet he learned to be content no matter his circumstance, AND continued to proclaim the hope of the gospel. Paul teaches us so much here when it comes to looking outside of ourselves and seeking to love others above ourselves. True contentment shows that we are not concerned about our own needs, but that we are concerned about the needs of others. Paul was deeply concerned with the spiritual blessings that came to others. How amazing would it be to have that kind of thinking. I pray that I would have that mindset for others!
2 Corinthians 9:6 says, "Sow sparingly, reap sparingly; sow bountifully, reap bountifully." This is speaking of spiritual blessings on both ends and joy. I believe it was verse 15 of Philippians 4 where Paul mentions that the beautiful did a beautiful thing. The thing that they had done was share in his affliction and supported him when he was away and encouraged him through prayer, spiritual and physical support as well.
As I was going through this lesson it made me think of why God has called me to do Biblical Counseling. It is to love well and to do a beautiful thing, it is to share in the suffering of others. It is about bringing the hope of Christ as Paul did and to live content, trusting in the sovereign control of what God has in store for my life and helping point others to the truth of His Word. God knows my future, my next step, job, future husband, children, etc. He has everything under HIS CONTROL. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Psalm 145:16 says, "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."
What an amazing God we serve! God is ordering everything according to His own plan. And that is why all things work together for the good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose because He's in charge. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11-14) This comes through being in His Word and getting to know the God we serve! He is amazing and loves us this MUCH!