Paul is in dire circumstances, and at the mercy of his jailers. But he writes these words as a lesson to us all – to be “content whatever the circumstances.” A worthy goal!
10 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. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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 fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Oh Lord, You are my shepherd and I should not be in want, but so often I struggle to be content and do want; forgetting that you have graciously provided me with every spiritual blessing in Christ and everything I need for life and godliness. Thank you for often not giving me what I want because my desires would draw my heart from being satisfied in You. Help me to be content in You with what You have given me and to not be focused on what my wants or the world tells me I should have. Protect me from coveting possessions or people, talent or influence, relationships or prestige. Keep my heart from being anxious for what I don’t have and make me thankful for the numerous gifts that You have already given. Amen!