Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11).
This verse, without its context, might seem to come from a busy ICR scientist trying to keep up with his speaking schedule, but it is, of course, conveying a much needed and timeless principle.
To be content means to have an inner satisfaction regardless of the circumstances. Paul, perhaps as much as anyone who ever lived, had to suffer incredible hardship and deprivation. He knew how to be abased . . . to be hungry . . . to suffer need (v.12), yet he was content. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (v.13).
He instructed Timothy: Godliness with contentment is great gain. . . . And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (I Timothy 6:6,8). God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (II Corinthians 9:8), he wrote to the believers in Corinth. The key, Paul knew, was that, whether or not his material needs were met, God Himself would be with him and help him maintain the precious attitude of contentmentof trust in Him in all things. My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me (II Timothy 4:17).
Let your conversation [manner of life] be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me (Hebrews 13:5,6). JDM