Choosing to Embrace Philippians 4:11
It is time to distinguish ourselves as Kingdom of God believers and practitioners of what Jesus taught and, in turn, what Paul and others wrote on learning to be content in every financial state. Unfortunately, the allure of this world poses a great emphasis on wealth and climbing the proverbial ladder to financial prosperity. This has become the measure of one’s so-called success in life, however misguided the concept. Therefore, it has become necessary that we remind ourselves what is really important in life, which has been and remains, to live our lives as Kingdom believers.
Contrary to what has been prayed for and emphasized in some churches, financial prosperity is not a goal that should be sought by true Kingdom believers. This is not saying that prosperity is bad, or that we should not exercise our God-given ability to attain all that He has promised and determined should be for each of us. Rather, it is meant to acknowledge that God knows what He wants to do through each of our lives, and that He has determined the material state we would, and should, achieve if we remain faithful.
Such an affirmation reminds us that it is not what we have but whose we are that matters most. In the end we have been promised prosperity as co-heirs with our Savior, Jesus Christ, and as future rulers over all that our Lord has been given by Our Heavenly Father. For us, this is all that should matter.
To help you embrace this view, here are three more expressions of the Apostle Paul's writing in Philippians 4:11 offering somewhat different interpretations of God’s word:
1. “Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.”
(Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved).
2. “It has been a great joy to me that after all this time you have shown such interest in my welfare. I don’t mean that you had forgotten me, but up till now you had no opportunity of expressing your concern. Nor do I mean that I have been in actual need, for I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either poverty or plenty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.”
(J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Philips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission).
3. “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.”
(The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson).
My take-away is that we should all be so strong as to find contentment wherever God has placed us in society, so long as it is in a posture of servitude, and we know Him to be our true source and provider. Learning to say Thank you! in all states of practical life is the principle rule.
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