We have been studying Paul's Letter to the Philippians in our sermons this summer. Paul wraps up the letter by teaching about contentment. He says that he has learned to be content whatever the circumstances. He says in verse 12, "I know what it means 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-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Paul is an unusual person. Most of us are not content unless everything is going our way and we have everything we want.
I wonder why contentment seems to always be referred to as a secret. Paul says he has" learned the secret of being content." Books have been written on "The Secret of Contentment." I think "contentment" is a secret is because so few people have been able to attain it.
"Contentment" is a way of living. We live in a world where most people think that right here, right now is all that matters. We need to view life from a longer perspective. The most important thing in life is a relationship with God. If we have God, we have the ability to be content. Even if life isn't perfect now, we'ree content because we know that this world is temporary, but our lives are eternal and we will be with God forever in heaven. So I can be content because my hope and my faith is in the Lord.
If our contentment requires that we have everything we want right now, very few people will be content. John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in the United States in the early 20th Century. In an interview he was asked when he'd finally have enough? His answer: "When I get a little more." He was never content. Whatever he had, he had to have more. That's true for most of us. Whatever we have now, even if it is more than we ever thought we'd have, it's never enough, we want more. People are miserable trying to get ahead, trying to make themselves happy, but they're never able to obtain happiness.
This Sunday we will learn the secret of contentment at First Baptist Riverside in our traditional worship at 9:00 a.m. and contemporary worship at 10:45. We hope you'll join us and find out how God can give us contentment.