WHAT'S UP REAL MEN!!!
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
One of the things that Jesus wants for us is true freedom. Scripture says that Jesus came to set the captives free and whom the Son sets free, he is free indeed. This is God’s desire for His creation. FREEDOM!!! True unadulterated FREEDOM!! So many of us live in some level of freedom, but still are held captive by certain things in our lives. This is not God’s plan for us. He sent His only begotten Son so that whoever would call on His name would be set free.
America is the greatest country in the world, period. Now that’s not to say it doesn’t have its faults, of course it does because human beings run this country, and wherever humans have a certain level of control there will always be a certain level of fault. However, in this country we have so many opportunities day in and day out to be whatever we want. In this country we are afforded the opportunity to have a life with endless potential. It is awesome to call ourselves Americans, after all, it is called the land of the free and the home of the brave. God has blessed us with a great country. However, this does create an opportunity to abuse the blessing, and turn the blessing into bondage. Meaning, because there is so much opportunity to have whatever we want, we then can very easily find ourselves not content with what we have….. which in return is bondage. Remember, Christ came to set us free, and not partially free, but truly free, even free from the American consumerism mindset.
See Paul in our passage has been shipwrecked, beaten multiple times, stoned and left for dead and locked up so many times he has probably lost count. Matter of fact, he is imprisoned while writing this passage, and so he has went through a lot of things. He says “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound”. In other words, I have had great victories in my life, I have watched people get healed and filled. I have seen them get healed from every kind of disease and seen 1,000’s of people get filled with the Holy Ghost. I know what it’s like to walk into a city and have people excited that I am there, but I also know what it’s like to walk into a city and be beaten up and cast out like a dog, ““I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. ”. In other words I have learned to live with a nice home and a nice car and I have learned to live in a homeless shelter and in prisons. I have eaten like a king, lobster, shrimp, delmonico steak and caviar, and I also have lived off the soup kitchen line as well. And so now “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Now that is true freedom. Not giving a rip about what you have, but being fully content because of the One you know. Now a word you have to pay attention to in this passage is the word “learned” because what that tells us is contentment is not a trait that we are born with. It’s not a disposition. It’s a decision that we have to learn to make. Contentment is not gained by accumulation, but rather by emptying ourselves, of ourselves, in order to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Our economic situation does not solidify our satisfaction, we can only gain our satisfaction in Christ.
So today let me encourage you Real Men to learn contentment from fully being focused on Jesus, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Be blessed in your contentment of knowing Him!