“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
(Philippians 4:11-13 HCSB)
Paul reminds us that the ability to be content in all things comes from the strengthening grace of Jesus. Consider Jeremiah Burroughs’ reflection on this:
“Let your afflictions be what they will, there is not one of you, but has more mercies than afflictions.
Objection: You will say, ‘Yes, but you do not know what our afflictions are such as you do not conceive of, because you do not feel them.’
Answer: Though I cannot know what your afflictions are, yet I know what your mercies are, and I know they are so great that I am sure there can be no afflictions in this world as great as the mercies you have. If it were only this mercy, that you have this day of grace and salvation is continued to you: it is a greater mercy than any affliction. Set any affliction beside this mercy and see which would weigh heaviest; this is certainly greater than any affliction.
That you have the sound of the Gospel still in your ears, that you have the use of your reason: this is a greater mercy than your afflictions. That you have the use of your limbs, your senses, that you have the health of your bodies; health of body is a greater mercy than poverty is an affliction. No man who is rich, if he is wise, and has a sickly body, would not part with all his riches that he might have his health.
Therefore your mercies are more than your afflictions.”
–Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment