“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13
The apostle Paul states in Philippians 4:9-13 that he has had little and he has had plenty. He sums it up by stating he is happy no matter what state he is in.
We’ve often divorced that last sentence from the body of the thought, but what Paul is saying is God’s man becomes content because of the strength that come with Christ’s perspective. That perspective overcomes concerns about our station in life. Both the love of affluence and loathing of poverty become null and void. God’s man is free, whatever his situation, when he knows what is eternal. When I am spiritually focused on and connected to Christ, I am:
More grateful, less stressed — More focused on God’s plan, less focused on my plan — More interested in people, less interested in things — More focused on God’s purposes in my situation, less focused on what I am missing — More aware of what is important in life, less concerned with the trivial — More humble, less prideful.
Practically, it’s good for us to say no to ourselves sometimes. It’s good for us to say no to our kids versus promoting immediate gratification and impulsivity in their character. It’s a good thing for married couples to delay a big purchase, pause a day or two to pray and ask what God wants them to do with His money. It’s good for me to say no to some things so I can say yes to God. This is risky business for men who live in a material world, but it is the right risk if you are God’s man. We are called to be content.
Thank you Father for revealing that freedom comes through sacrifice.