Paul wrote Philippians chapter 4 while in prison. He could not have known what the future held. He did not know if he would be freed, beaten, or even killed. He led us by example amazingly in showing us how to be content in all circumstances.
There have been times in our lives that we have had plenty, and times where we have come up short. Times when we felt acceptance from others, and times when we have felt complete rejection. There have been times when we were confident in our decision making, and times when we were hinging on any glimmer of confirmation. Times when we have felt safe and loyalty from others around us, and moments when we felt alone and kicked to the curb.
It is natural to feel discontentment when situations are out of our control. If our satisfaction depends on whether certain things work out, then circumstances will steal our sense of peace. Paul did not imply that we will never experience anxiety or frustration. Feelings and thoughts are the language of the body and brain. They are important but they are not facts. What matters is how we respond to the feelings that confront us. He also reminded us that the source from which our needs are supplied is never ending and will not run out.
It seems that contentment is something we all want. In our humanity, we want to be fulfilled, complete, and self-sufficient. Yet, we are surrounded by a society that is restless, living in fear, discontent, lonely, empty, and so many other things related to discontentment. What is the source of contentment? Paul told is in I Timothy 6:6 that godliness with contentment is great gain. He laid it all out to us: We brought nothing with us when we were born, and will take nothing with us when we die. Let us heed the admonition of Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.Chasing after money is harmful and futile, leading a person to destruction and wavering in their faith.
Peace and contentment derive from godliness. Godliness has to do with what we know, not what we feel. There are no shortcuts with Godliness. It is practical, straightforward and proven.