Be content, whatever the circumstances

By Mike Walsh
Posted 6/8/23

In 2013 my wife and I had an opportunity to go on our first cruise. While we were on the cruise the leader of the onboard church for the workers heard that I am a pastor and he asked us to come and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Be content, whatever the circumstances


In 2013 my wife and I had an opportunity to go on our first cruise. While we were on the cruise the leader of the onboard church for the workers heard that I am a pastor and he asked us to come and do a late night service for them. We made friends with many of them, and we are still in contact today through Facebook. 

Years ago I was talking to one of them on messenger and I was complaining about things in my life a little bit too much. He told me to knock it off, to strengthen myself and keep going. After that was over, I found it funny that I didn’t realize that the people in other parts of the world don’t have things as good as we have them here in America. He was not at all interested in coddling me. I learned that day that people don’t want others to complain about their woes, because we all have things in our lives that are difficult. The apostle Paul had things super hard as he was trying to obey the Lord and follow him. Paul’s whole life was putting up with hardship, trials and tribulations. But he has an amazing way about him. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul talks about some of his trials. He said that he had been stoned, he was shipwrecked three times, faced whippings, beatings, hunger, thirst and danger. Paul wrote the epistles from his dark, cold prison cell. In Philippians 4:10-13 he said this:

“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

As the apostle Paul sat in his lonely, cold, dark prison cell for preaching the gospel, I imagine that he felt that everyone forgot him, he was alone. But Paul was able to connect with Jesus in a way that was everything that he needed for survival. He had a deep understanding that where he was, wasn’t his eternal home — that things were going to get better if he would simply trust in Jesus for everything in his life. He knew that heaven was his home. I believe because of that he had a higher calling and vision. He said that he learned the secret of being content. The secret was that his strength and sustenance came from Jesus. He said, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

People see contentment in many different ways. Some people believe that if only we had this thing or drove this car, we would be happy and content! We are told that happiness is always contingent on just a little more than we have right now. The problem with the world’s contentment is that you are like a dog chasing its tail. You are never fast enough to fully grab hold of all that there is to offer, so you just fall to the ground worn out and dizzy. Webster’s Dictionary says that contentment is to rest satisfied, to be positive and well-pleased; to not be disgruntled or disheartened. Freedom from care or discomfort. Paul is telling us that we can have contentment by trusting in Jesus who is his strength. 

I believe that God has contentment for his people. God gives strength to us when we give ourselves totally to him and his will for our lives. So if you are struggling today finding peace, joy and happiness, let me encourage you to put your trust and faith in Jesus. Proverbs 3:5-6 5 said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

(Mike Walsh is the pastor at Glad Tidings Assembly of God.)