“I have learned, in whatever state I am, therein to be content” Philippians 4:11
The state of contentment, not a place we usually find ourselves. No matter where we are, what job we’re in, or how much money is (or isn’t ) in the bank, we’re usually not satisfied with our lot. The verse above implies that contentment is something we have to learn. That’s a tough lesson.
C. H. Spurgeon vividly confirms this in his devotion for today:
“Covetousness, discontentment, and complaining are as natural to man as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Similarly, we do not need to teach men to complain, they complain fast enough without any education.
“But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow. If we want flowers, we must plan and care for a garden. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated.
“It will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be especially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace that God has sown in us. Paul said, ‘I have learned…to be content.‘ This statement implies that he did not know how to be content at one time. It cost him some pains to arrive at the mystery of that great truth.
“No doubt he sometime thought he had learned the lesson, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained it, and could say, ‘I have learned, in whatever state I am, therein to be content,’ he was an old gray-headed man, on the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon in Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities and share the cold dungeon with him, if we, too, might by any means attain his good position [of contentment.]
“Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with learning, or learn without disciple. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually….continue to be a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.”
Time for class…..