FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.Paul gets back to one of the primary themes for writing this letter in the first place.
1. Joy from the concern and love of the Philippians for him and his need. 10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. The believers in Philippi were completely on Paul's team and backed him in every way.
2. Joy that is beyond circumstances. 11Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
As we have discussed before, joy has nothing to do with circumstances. Paul sets forth two extremes between having nothing (humble means) and living with prosperity and he assures his friends that no matter the circumstance, he has learned the secret of being filled in the midst of going hungry and having abundance while suffering need.
3. Joy that is found in JESUS PLUS NOTHING. Paul now gives his secret of being content no matter what-whether in poverty, hunger and need or having prosperity and abundance. Here it is. It is simply: 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Paul learned that being content is found in the strength and support Jesus gives. Whether you are rich or poor, Jesus is always there to strengthen you. We all experience ups and downs, but Jesus is the constant--the only one who will not flake on you!
Here's the dynamic that is miraculous. If you are in deep trouble or need, hang on to your relationship with Jesus and you will have the strength to get through it. If you are wealthy and it seems like all is well, don't forget your relationship with Jesus or you'll find yourself depending on your wealth rather than Him.
Contentment is only found in Jesus, no matter your external life situation. YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS YOU. This means you can live anywhere in any condition, because you don't find your strength in your life situation but in your relationship with Jesus.
So, don't let your minds be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus. Anything more or less than JESUS PLUS NOTHING will surely end in discontentment. JESUS PLUS NOTHING means contentment and contentment is all about inner, long-term, totally satisfying, joy!