Pray out loud for God to speak to you through your reading. Thank God for giving us His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
For more help use this Bible Study method
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
We humans are born dissatisfied... From infancy, we want what we want… now! By nature we tend to seek what’s new and better and more. Biblical contentment is the opposite, though – not having everything you want, but wanting everything you have! Like God’s love, grace, peace, hope, forgiveness, and more. Contentment is resting in Jesus and his gifts. But our fallen hearts tend toward restlessness, and the desire to acquire, which sometimes looks like loving things and using people. Notice how the sneaky apostle tries to subvert that tendency here by thanking the Philippians for their concern on his behalf, and by reminding them that, though he is in prison, he is completely trusting God to provide for all his needs. And why wouldn’t he? If God sent His Son to suffer, bleed, and die to save Paul from condemnation on account of his sins, how could he not thank and trust God for the present and future, too? Though Paul was encouraged by and thankful for the gifts delivered to him by Epaphroditus on behalf of the Philippian congregation (v. 18), he wants them to know that his well-being is not dependent on outward circumstances; that neither being in want nor having plenty can meet the deep needs of his heart, or theirs. In fact, Paul equally regards poverty and wealth as trials! We continually seek the latter, of course. But Paul portrays both poverty and wealth as demanding extremes that can weigh heavy on the human spirit, wreak havoc on our emotions, and distort our personalities. Yet the secret to victory over both of these challenging circumstances is Christ, who supplies strength. A life lived in and through the Lord is a life adequate to meet any demand placed upon it, because of the sufficiency of Jesus. He is more than enough for every situation, and continually available to all who believe.
For your prayer time today, consider this: The opposite of contentment is covetousness. Is there anything you’re coveting today that you need to confess? Something you want, something you’re waiting for, or something you feel like you’ll never have that has become an idol? Spend some time meditating upon Psalm 23:1. “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (I lack nothing).
Thank you, God, for not always giving me what I want, for my desires are deceitful. Empower me to let go of what my flesh desires and the world tells me I need so that I may be completely satisfied in you and your provision. In Jesus’ name. Amen.