Content ... through him who gives me strength ...
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:11-13 NLT
The phrase "I have learned to be content" reminds me that contentment is a lifelong learning process. When Ann first got her motorized wheelchair I did not think that I would ever come to accept it. I believed that she would soon walk again. Did not know that I was grieving our loss and in a bit of denial. Eventually I learned to be content. Hearing Paul speaking of this learning process from jail encourages me so much - he was learning contentment while in chains.
What do you think Paul means when he speaks of doing all this through him who gives me strength? Is he speaking of some sort of mystical revelation or could he be speaking of the sort of prayer that he wrote of a few verses back? My view is that contentment comes as we cast our hopes, our dreams, our sorrows, our anxieties, and everything else that brings discontentment on the Lord in prayer. As we do this our heart is strengthened and we learn to be content.
Help us today Lord to be open to the lessons of contentment. Teach us to pray though our discontentment.