by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

God's Spiritual Stimulus Plan – Contentment (13 of 14)
Series: God's Spiritual Stimulus Plan
Steve Jones
Philippians 4

INTRODUCTION: An airline pilot was flying over the Tennessee Mountains and pointed out a lake to his copilot. "See that little lake?" he said. "When I was a kid I used to sit in a rowboat down there, fishing. Every time a plane would fly overhead, I'd look up and wish I were flying it. Now I look down and wish I was in a rowboat, fishing."

Contentment can be an elusive pursuit. We go after what we think will make us happy only to find that it didn't work; in fact, we were happier before we started the quest. It's like the story of two teardrops floating down the river of life. One teardrop said to the other, "Who are you?" "I'm a teardrop from a girl who loved a man and lost him. Who are you?" "I'm a teardrop from the girl who GOT him."

In Philippians 4:10-13, a man who sits in prison because of corrupt officials awaiting possible execution over false charges tells the impoverished and overtaxed citizens of Philippi how to find contentment. That's why I call this series on Philippians "God's SPIRITUAL Stimulus Plan." This letter is full of provisions to keep our spirits strong even if the economy is in the tank and our personal circumstances seem lousy.

The answer to contentment lies buried in the midst of a thank-you note. The Philippian church had sent a financial gift to Paul the prisoner. He wants to express his heartfelt thanks, but at the same time he doesn't want to give the impression that the Lord was not sufficient for his every need. Even though he had been in a very difficult situation, he doesn't want his donors to think that he had been discontented before the gift arrived; but he does want them to know that their generosity was truly appreciated. So he combines his thanks with a valuable lesson on the secret of contentment. This morning let's contrast four qualities of those who are malcontent t ...

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