Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Paul rejoiced in the things that the church at Philipi had done. But he also rejoiced in those things that they wanted to do but didn't have the opportunity to do. They didn't always have the resources to do so. But God did and He always met the need that Paul had. We may not have opportunity to meet someone's need...but God is pleased with us just wanting to meet the need. God will have someone else that He will use to meet that need. So don't be upset that you can't meet that need for someone...just pray for that one that God desires to use to meet it. (vs. 10) "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity."
Just as the key verse says...Paul had learned no matter the situation or the need to be content. We need to learn this too. We won't always understand it all...but we are to be content. No matter how bad things are or how deep the valley...we are to be content. Jesus didn't always have it easy...but He was no doubt content.
(vs. 8-10a) "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly,...." Paul's attitude was that he rejoiced. He did not come to this attitude overnight. It was a process of learning. We will not learn to be content overnight either. We will need to learn it over time.
Paul was not a spiritual super-human. He experienced trials and testings that taught him to learn to be content. God used each one to teach him....not just some of them and then let him go through the others for nothing. Each one was a test.
We will go through tough times as well. We can come through them being a better Christian. Paul came through everything he faced being a stronger and better Christian...but only because of Christ and His strength. It was not Paul that got him through. It was Christ and His strength. (vs. 13) "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
I am not anything special. I am what I am by God's amazing grace. I'm still learning much. Have I learned to be content. No...I'm still learning. God has been and continues to be merciful with me.
The opportunities to learn this thing of being content are endless. We need to pass each test in order to get to this point of being content. Are you passing each test? As you pass one test (just like with school) the tests will get more and more difficult. But eventually you will have learned it if you pass each test. When you fail a test...you must go back and take the test again until you pass that particular test. Let's be like Paul and learn to be content.