“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:11-13)
To know Christ is to be in the school of contentment. It means learning to be content in whatever state you are in. Paul had been through many classes already: learning to be poor and rich, full and hungry, to be abased and to abound. Contentment is not apathy. Contentment is not stoicism. Contentment does not mean not caring about your circumstances. It does not mean having no feelings. No, contentment means knowing Christ, resting in Christ, being so completely sure of the goodness and love of Christ, that you rest assured that your circumstances are serving Christ’s purposes perfectly.
If Christ is your Savior, then He is saving you to the uttermost. He is saving you through the circumstances of your life. He is Lord of every detail of your life, and so every detail in your life is obeying your Lord for your good. Sometimes life hurts, sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it makes your gut go flop, but if you know Christ, you know that He holds all things together in His infinite wisdom for His glory and your good.
So, what is God doing with your life? Some of you are thinking: boy, wouldn’t I like to know. But if you are a Christian, then you do know. He is doing exactly what it takes to make you into the image of Christ. And that should come as the most comforting news in the world. God is not on autopilot. He is not distracted by anything. He is infinite, and this means that He has infinite care for every detail. And so your task is to trust Him. And Paul actually says this means rejoicing always and in all things. Do not grumble. Do not complain. God is taking you to heaven. He is preparing you for infinite joy. And He is doing exactly what it takes to get you there. So begin thanking Him for all of it, and so learn contentment in Christ.