A Call To The Remnant

Scottish Warriors for Christ- http://www.facebook.com/acalltotheremnant

Are you content?

Posted by appolus on January 14, 2015

Are you content? Boy, that is a loaded question. I would argue, if you broke it all down, that this is what the majority of the people of the world are looking for, contentment. Now, how to achieve that is the question for the world but also a very serious question for Christians. The world makes all the mistakes in attempting to achieve contentment, yet so do many Christians. The people of the world believe, in general, that contentment comes through material possessions. Let us have a look at what the word actually means.

The Greek word is ” autarkes,” and it literally means self-complacent or self-sufficient. This is why there is a such a tie to material possessions. The context of Philippians chapter four where Paul states ” I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” is in the context of a gift of money having been sent to him by the Philippians. So there is no doubt that the main theme of this particular text is money or material possessions. And of course, this is one of the worlds primary pre-occupations.

Now if this is one of the worlds primary pre-occupations and the world, in general, is not content, then the gathering and the storing of money in order to bring about peace and contentment is obviously flawed. Money, whether having a lot of it or none at all , cannot produce peace or contentment. The problem with that truth is that almost no one believes it. The lie is so great, that the majority of the world spend the majority of their life in pursuing more money in the hopes that if they just have enough, whatever that is, then this will lead them to peace and contentment. Yet statistics show that a great majority of those who commit suicide are wealthy. You see, the poor hope to be rich one day, in the mistaken notion that it will bring about contentment and therefore they have hope and have something to strive for, even although it is akin to believing that there is an actual pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The wealthy, on the other hand, know that their riches have not brought them the peace and the contentment which they sought and so often times hope is lost which leads to suicide. It is similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz finally getting to meet the great and notable wizard and discovering he is just a man behind a curtain pulling levers.

Now the stoic Greeks believed in being content yet this meant something very different to them, closer I would argue to the truth, but still very flawed. To the Greeks, contentment was a state of dispassionately accepting whatever state you found yourself in by drawing on your own inner strength, you own self. In order to cope with all that life threw at them, the best they could hope for was a dispassionate state. The Apostle Paul taught something very different in the Scriptures and he was a great example for us to learn from.

Consider Paul’s position in life even as he was writing his epistle to the Philippians. He was writing this letter from prison, he had lost everything in life. He had been very wealthy from a wealthy family and had lost all of that. He had held a high position in Jewish society and now he was hated. He once had an abundance of money and now he had nothing, in fact he had to rely upon the charity of those whom he had preached the gospel too. He had found himself homeless and oftentimes just had the clothes upon his back. He had been scourged many times almost to death. He had been imprisoned in the deepest dungeons. He had oftentimes went hungry. He had been stoned almost to death and had been shipwrecked on more than one occasion and drifting at sea. He would ultimately die a martyr’s death and he knew this because it had been revealed to him by the Spirit.

Yet Paul says ” I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content,” and not in the dispassionate way the Greeks philosophers taught , through a stoic disregard for one’s position. He had learned to be content and do all those things with an open and joyful heart ” through Christ who strengthens me.” This is the very opposite of what the finest philosophy of the world could teach. This was not a reliance upon self to , with a stiff upper lip, face anything that life throws at you. This was a reliance upon God. And because Paul relied upon God who strengthened Him, he could face any situation and be at peace and have contentment. His heart would be open and full and there would be joy in his life because he was in Christ.

Now it must be noted and we should all be glad that Paul writes ” i have learned.” It did not come to him overnight nor was a magic wand waved over him and suddenly he had contentment. No, he had to go take the class. There were lessons that had to be lived out. There were situations after situations that had to be walked through in order to arrive at a place of peace and contentment. When Job makes one of the greatest statements of faith in the Bible ” Even if He kills me yet shall I trust Him,” they were not the flippant words of a man with no experience of trial and suffering. This is the same with Paul. The truths of the lessons he had learned and the contentment he had reached were fleshed out by his very life. At the end of a long series of trials and tribulations he had proved himself to be one who had endured and overcome by the power of God. His proof was that he was not embittered or closed down or dispassionately stoic in the midst of his many sufferings. He had joy and love and mercy and compassion and a thankful heart towards God.

He had life and that more abundantly, he was super abounding in life and that life was the life of Christ in Him which was all the more displayed in his weaknesses and his lack. Many people can seem to be content when they have an abundance of material possessions and seem to have no problems. Yet the truly content are those who have walked through the fires and floods of life and have learned that no matter what, their God shall never leave them nor forsake them. It is in the learning of this lesson, it is in the understanding of God’s faithfulness to us rather than in our faithfulness to Him that we learn to be content. Oftentimes we fail as you know, yet God never fails us. When we actually learn that by the lessons that life teaches us, then we begin to walk in true peace and contentment. A peace that surpasses self , a supernatural peace that all the world truly seeks.

7 Responses to “Are you content?”

  1. Amen brother,once again!!!
    Yesterday a Christian alluded to the fact that another Christian they knew was doing something that finally made them feel good about themselves. I heard coming out of my mouth,rather acerbically: “Is that our purpose in life, feeling good about ourselves?” The person I was speaking to seemed shocked that I would say such a “rude” thing.
    It just was so antithetical to what we as Christians should know by heart at this point. Feeling good about ourselves and what we are doing is not what Jesus came to teach us. He taught us to crucify our desires, our flesh and even our talents so that His glory could be seen in us. If you are a great singer and having to clean toilets, hallelujah, learn to sing while cleaning toilets. If you are a good administrator and have been thrown into a prison cell with nothing to do but administrate through prayer, then hallelujah.

    I’m not being facetious or mean, I have learned the hard way that feeling good about what you are doing, where you are or how you look is really only selfishness and vanity. However, being content in the circumstances you are in requires a resurrection power in Christ Jesus who gives you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness….

    God bless you my Scottish bro.
    Leslie

    • appolus said

      Hey My American sister 🙂 ” being content in the circumstances you are in require a ressurection power in Christ Jesus who gives you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Amen sister, indeed amen. …………bro Frank

  2. sharon said

    Thanks for the good words. I’m learning and walking by faith toward the plan the Lord must have for me.
    can’t see the shore and the waves sometimes are high, but I know the Master is in the boat with me.

    • appolus said

      Amen Sharon, He indeed has a plan for you, the plan can be seen in the walking that you are doing. You shall not drown for your Master is in the boat with you, amen…………….bro Frank

  3. Nora said

    I’m a very peaceful person, and my peace is totally from the Lord, and He knew I would need it. In my life, I’ve experienced murder, suicide, incest, domestic violence, etc and God has always sustained me. I went through a terrible trauma 3 years ago and I was absolutely overcome with anxiety and fear. It was very strange and terribly unsettling. On the one hand, I knew absolutely that God was with me and would see me through, but I lived in sheer terror every waking moment. During that time, I was praying with a friend once and she said to me that “peace is gold”. That thought flooded my mind and I KNEW that God would eventually give me peace in my circumstances, which He did. Peace is worth far more than anything – material possessions, status, relationships, etc. and you are so right to say that it is what everyone ultimately seeks. True peace (shalom – the peace that passes all understanding), can ONLY be found in God.

    Shalom to all who read this. God bless your day and God bless you!

    Nora

    • appolus said

      HI Nora, what a tremendous testimony to the sustaining power of God through all circumstances. I think at the end of the day, what the saints do is they still ” stand.” We still stand and it is a testimony to God who equips us for the battle. He gives us the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness, our loins are girded with truth and our feet are shod with the Gospel. We have our shield of faith, the faith that God will see us through and of course we have a sword, the word of God. And we have all that so that we ca stand in the evil day. Saints see evil days. They have an enemy of their souls who is determined to pull down the testimony of the living God in us. Yet here we stand, whole i Him. Praise God again for your testimony…………..bro Frank

  4. […] https://acalltotheremnant.com/2015/01/14/are-you-content/#more-2289 […]

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