“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:10-13, ESV)
When we speak of satisfaction, what do we really mean? Is it having plenty of money in the bank, or maybe everyone at home is well and there doesn’t seem to be too much drama happening at the moment? If you’ve lived on the planet for longer than five minutes, you’ve discovered that life can quickly be turned upside down; and often, when one thing goes wrong, it seems everything does.
My attempt isn’t to stir up fear, or bring anxious thoughts to your mind, but let’s be real. We’ve all experienced it. Perhaps some background information about the author of the book of Philippians would be in order just about now. The Apostle Paul traveled around the Greco-Roman world evangelizing and establishing churches where Christianity hadn’t yet taken root. Though Paul was a Jew, he possessed a dual citizenship as a Roman, having been raised in the Roman city of Tarsus, in Turkey.
Because Paul preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Jews constantly opposed his work, as they denied the Messiah had come and was still yet to come. Philippi was a city Paul had encountered much opposition and had been imprisoned on more than one occasion. In Acts 16, after a particularly brutal beating, shackled, with his feet in stocks, Paul and his partner in ministry, Silas, worshiped and sang praise to the Lord at midnight. Imagine that for a minute. Hours later, laying in sweat, blood and who knows what else; maybe shivering from the cold, the two men rejoiced and sang praises to God! (See Acts 16:23-34)
Doesn’t sound very satisfying does it? And yet, there was an overwhelming peace inside; something I would say money simply couldn’t buy. How do I know? Our society is rife with stories of celebrities who seem to possess everything, and yet, feel hopeless; as if life is longer worth living. Take Kate Spade, or Anthony Bourdain, as examples.
To be satisfied begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ. I once heard someone say that everyone is born with a God-shaped vacuum inside; a place only God can fill, and until He does, nothing will ever satisfy you. I believe Paul knew this. I’ve come to know this as well. While having material resources is preferable; the truth is, they aren’t absolutely necessary for us to be satisfied, or to have joy inside.
The book of Philippians is called the book of joy because Paul wrote it shackled to a Roman prison guard. I want to encourage you today. Satisfaction is something you can possess, no matter your station in life. Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and begin the satisfied life!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.