for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
These words were written by the Apostle Paul from prison. He said he had learned the secret of happiness and was content regardless of his outward circumstances. He had discovered that our life does not consist in our possessions, titles, accomplishments, or our station in life. Paul had learned that life itself was found in Christ and he could be satisfied despite adverse circumstances. Paul had found contentment in Christ alone.
Jonathan Edwards often spoke of the happiness that is only available from the Lord. In his sermon “God Amongst His People” he says, “When so great a holy God dwells among a people, he not only is able to supply them with all good, God is theirs, and therefore they are happy, if they have nothing else. If all other things fail, the enjoyment of God is sufficient to make them completely happy”.
This is one of the greatest, and yet, hardest lessons to learn in our Christian walk. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s our ministry went through some very painful experiences. Our local economy was suffering and it was effecting the church members as well as the church itself. The in suing problems caused anxiety and fear to set into my life. To me, it seemed as if all of the years of work were in vain, and there was a real possibility of losing everything. I had to take a real look at the possibility that ,that could take place. That was not a fun time. During this season, the Lord visited me and our church with an unusual outpouring of His Presence. What a contrast, in the physical world, nothing but trouble. In the spiritual world incredible, unspeakable joy. Then the Lord posed the question, “If you lose everything, am I enough for you?” What a question! I grappled with that thought for weeks, but came to the inevitable conclusion. “Lord, You are more than enough.” That was it. I was dealing with the greatest of all questions, “Could I be satisfied with Christ alone?”
This is the question we answer everyday, “Is Jesus enough?” Maybe you have not yet discovered the secret of total contentment, if that is the case, your greatest discovery and greatest joy in life is just ahead.