TRIUMPHANT JOY #7: THE SECRET TO BEING JOYFULLY CONTENT
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: Two of the most familiar verses in Philippians are:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory…” (Phil. 4:19).
- If those verses are true, then: Why do I still struggle financially?
- Why do I still struggle with sickness, depression, discouragement?
- Why do I still have challenges in my relationships, past hurts or addictions?
- Why don’t I have more JOY, peace and hope? Where’s the victory?
THE BIG IDEA: God’s desire is that we would learn how to be joyfully content, to do all things, and have all of our needs met.
BACKGROUND TO THE PASSAGE:
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.” (Phil. 4:10, NKJV).
- Here Paul is commending the Philippians for supporting him financially.
I. I CAN BE JOYFULLY CONTENT:
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Phil. 4:11-12).
- On a scale of 1-10, how content are you in your life right now?
- 1 is completely dissatisfied and unhappy; 10 is supremely blessed, happy and satisfied.
- Most of the advertising in the world today is designed to make you be discontent.
- They said: “Do you want to be happy? Buy our junk!” i.e. iPhones, etc!
- Paul found the secret to being joyfully content: If you have much or little, choose joy!
- How could Paul say, “I don’t need anything” when he was poor and in prison?
- Paul had also said: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice.” (4:4).
- Content defined: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
- Paul said, “I have learned…” Being content is something we can learn.
- Content is the opposite of coveting – wanting what you don’t have / what others have.
PAUL’S ADVICE TO A YOUNG PASTOR:
“6 Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. 7 After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, NLT).
- If you have enough food and clothing (and shelter!) be content.
- If you desire to be rich, you will fall into temptation. Love of money is the root of all evil.
- People who fall into consumerism wander away from God and are miserable.
II. I CAN DO ALL THINGS:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).
- This is one of the most quoted but often most misunderstood verses in Philippians.
- What does this mean? Does this mean I can rob a bank and God will help me?
- No: It doesn’t mean that God will help us to do anything that disobeys the Bible.
- Paul doesn’t say, “I can’t.” That’s negative pessimism. God doesn’t want us like that.
- Paul also doesn’t say, “I can.” It’s not positive thinking, visualization, “I think I can!”
- I can visualize a BMW Z4 electric blue convertible but it’s not going to happen!
- Paul does say, “I can… through Christ!”
- The secret to doing all things is spending time with Jesus in prayer and in His Word:
- “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
- So what are the ‘all things’ we can do? Everything God wants us to do:
- Bear the fruit of the Spirit: Love, JOY, PEACE…
- Have strong, healthy relationships with others
III. I HAVE ALL MY NEEDS MET:
“14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:14-19).
- Here Paul commends the Philippians for their generous giving.
- It wasn’t because Paul wanted the gift, but so that God would bless their generosity.
- Here God says He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.
- It doesn’t say He will supply all our greeds or wants.
- Question: What is a need versus a want? Food? Clothing? Shelter? New TV?
- Does this mean that God will always give us everything we ask from Him? No.
- The prosperity teachers say that God’s a piñata, and faith is a whacking stick.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE PHILIPPIANS IN THEIR GIVING:
Philippi is an example of one of the most generous giving churches in the NT (2 Cor. 8-9).
- Their giving was sacrificial, proportional and cheerful.
1. Their Giving was Sacrificial:
“Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will.” (2 Cor. 8:1-3, NLT).
2. Their Giving was Proportional:
“Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have” (2 Cor. 8:11-12, NLT).
- This is why the Lord instituted the tithe – 10% – in the Old Testament.
- The reality is, 100% belongs to God, we are just called to be stewards of it.
3. Their Giving was Cheerful:
“Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will alays have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Cor. 9:6-8, NLT).
- When we honour God with our finances and give sacrificially, proportionally, and cheerfully, then we can count on God’s promise to meet all our needs.
VIDEO CLIP: Steven Furtick: “The Ten Cents of Tithing.”
“Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Phil. 4:20-23).
- The key to everything – is the grace of the Lord Jesus.
- Paul said, “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35, NKJV).
- Do you want to be blessed? Do you want joy, peace and hope?
- Do you want to be content, be able to do all things, lacking nothing?
- Be a generous giver!