I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well feed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Why Paul is saying this to the Philippians is not important to what I am writing. But in the verse that precedes these verses Paul writes:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
Paul is glad the Philippians have taken an interest in him, not because he wants them to take care of him, but because he knows he can lead them to God and Christ and show them the contentment he has discovered in getting his relationship with God and Christ.
This is what led me to write down these verses.
Paul is speaking of his contentment with life and in the final verse tells how he has come to be content with his life.
It is simply his relationship with God.
We all know that everyone’s life will be full of ups and downs. It will be filled with times or excess and times of need, both materially and spiritually. Sometimes we have friends and family to help us and be with us. Sometimes we are on our own.
Like Paul, through years of experiencing these times of tribulation and times of joy, we learn that it all equals out in the end. The one constant through all of it is our self and our relationship with God.
By being honest and always striving for honest knowledge, and by working on our relationship with God through this honest knowledge, we see that it is all there. Every lesson we need to handle life has been presented to us. We slowly whittle away the chips of wood until the carving comes into form with its simple lines and textures. Slowly we see what it is.
Paul is saying that through the study of God, Christ and life, you will learn how to deal with the highs and the lows. Paul personally went through some pretty dark and deep lows.
Paul know there will be more highs and lows to come because that’s just life.
Finally he says:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul isn’t saying, “Oh, I just let God and Christ do it all for me and I rely totally on them.”
What he say is “I can do all this….”
And by I, Paul means, I must put in the hard work and honest effort to study and learn and work at making myself a righteous man.
This is why Paul says in verse eleven:
I am not saying this because I am in need….
Paul knows he only needs his relationship with God.
Another simple lesson of life.
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