Friday 13 August 2021

Bible Book:

Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. … I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (vs 11, 13)

Philippians 4:4-13 Friday 13 August 2021

Psalm 38:1-8


Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of several letters in the New Testament penned by him. He wrote this letter while he was in prison, though the exact location of the prison is not entirely clear.

The study passage is preceded by Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians to focus on God rather than on earthly things. It is followed by some concluding remarks. The passage contains many principles upon which to ponder. The reference to rejoice is not a superficial naïve optimism but a deeply rooted sense of joy in God no matter the circumstances. There is an encouragement to take everything to God in prayer and not to be anxious. The church at Philippi would no doubt have faced various challenges, especially because they were part of the Roman empire. Paul also encourages concentrating on those things which are honourable and excellent. And these thoughts will lead to positive action, putting into practice that which Paul had imparted to them. Paul also repeats his appreciation for the concern the Philippians had shown towards him. Paul's assertion that he has learned contentment does not mean that he is self-sufficient but that he is sufficient in God. And this contentment is not a result of Paul always being without difficulty: rather, it is in the midst of his difficulty that he has learned contentment. Verse 13 needs to be read with reference to the preceding verses.


To Ponder:

  • Over the past 18 months or so, there are many things which have made people anxious, such as catching Covid-19 or losing their job. How does this passage encourage and challenge you?
  • How easy or difficult is it for you to be content, especially when times are hard?


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