Summary: This is the 201st sermon in the series "Action". This is the 9th sermon from Philippians.

Series: Action [#201]


Philippians 4:10-13


What is the secret of a fulfilling life? Paul tells us that contentment is what we need. What is contentment? Contentment is defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction. Contentment is independent from circumstances. You do not base your happiness on the situation around you. Happiness comes from within. How do you get that kind of contentment and satisfaction in life? Paul says contentment is learned. It's not something that is instant. How do you learn contentment?

Philippians 4:10-12

Paul gives us 4 lessons to learn that will give us a satisfying, fulfilling life.

Learn to…

1. Avoid comparisons.

Comparing yourself to others always leads to discontent. There will always be people that make more money than you, who have greater opportunities than you have, who have fewer problems. So what? That has no bearing at all on your own personal happiness.

2 Corinthians 4:18

3 misconceptions about happiness:

* I must have what others have to be happy.

* I must be liked by everyone in order to be happy.

* Having more will make me more happy.

1 Timothy 6:6-8

Learn to…

2. Adjust to change.

Life is full of ups and downs- Emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. There's nothing certain in life except change. Change is certain.

How well do you handle change? How well do you handle when things are shaken up a little? Do you get frightened, moody, angry, uptight, etc…? Paul says that 1 of the secrets of learning to be content in life is the ability to adjust to all kinds of circumstances and change. Paul says you need to learn to adjust to it. Your happiness in life will be largely dependent upon your ability to adapt, adjust, be flexible. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not.

There are 3 kinds of circumstances in life:

* Those I can control and I do. Switch TV channels, if you're hungry you feed yourself, etc...

* Those I can control and I don't.

* Those I cannot control and there are many in life.

The key to adjusting is a sense of humor. The people who are the most emotionally balanced and stable in life are those who have developed a keen sense of humor- The ability to laugh at themselves, their own problems and the difficulties. Rather than being devastated by problems they somehow find something funny in it all- Even in tragedy they can see humor here and there. That is crucial to learning to adjust. If you don't adjust you'll break down or burn out. Circumstances demand flexibility in life.

Philippians 4:13

Learn to…

3. Draw on Christ’s power.

Instead of just depending on my own effort to make it through circumstances and my own energy, I must learn to draw on Christ's power. Do you know how you know when you're depending on your own power? You get tired. Fatigue comes from living life on your own resources rather than on the resources of God.

Paul says I can master anything with the help of Christ who gives me strength. I have quoted this verse thousands and thousands of times in situations where I've felt overwhelmed and it works!

Philippians 4:19

Learn to…

4. Trust God to meet my needs.

This is the secret of satisfaction in life. The real reason that people are unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled is because Jesus Christ is not the center of their lives. They are looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. They run from this to that- Looking for something that is going to satisfy them. From relationship to relationship, from job to job, from hobby to sports to recreation- Fads, therapy, books, seminars- Looking for the key. But God has laid it out very clearly.

God wants you to have a happy, fulfilling, satisfying life. He said it. "I have come that you might have life and that you might have it abundantly." Life in the fullest is what God wants us to have; but the way you have that satisfaction in life is by learning the lessons of contentment.


Which of these 4 lessons do you need to learn or relearn?

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