When I was younger, I had a problem being content. I searched the Bible high and low for the word, but only found it in one place. The best verses to teach us to be content and at peace are found in Philippians Chapter 4.
Here you will find a step-by-step Bible study that will help you have the peace and contentment that every Christian should have.
Verse 1 - Keep The Faith and Obey
" Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved."
Paul cared for his followers and we can see in this verse. Twice he says dearly beloved and he calls them his joy and crown.
We need to stand fast in the Lord, keeping our faith and obeying him. Remember the old hymn, "Trust and obey, because there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." There is a lot of truth in that hymn.
Keep the Peace - Phil 4:2
"I beseech Euodias, and beseech Synytche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord."
It is important to get along with fellow believers. Don't argue over stupid things. It's more important to care about the needs of the other person than to worry about our own pride. Arguing only causes anger and anger just makes us unhappy.
I've been angry and there is the feelings it brings are not contentment. Suddenly, the little things frustrate me and I just get angrier. The little injustices of the world just aren't worth stewing over.
Help Others Phil 4:3
" And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
We need to see to the needs of our fellow Christians. Helping others can bring us real joy.In this current economy, we don't need to look far for someone who could use some extra help. If you don't know of anyone, bring food to your local food pantry. Do you knit or crochet? Use your talents to make things for the poor. Give money to those who are in need. Pray for God's leading and guidance as far as what he would like you to do.
If you are in need yourself and don't have anything material to help others, pray for them. Do what you can do. That may just mean visiting a shut-in. You'll come away happier yourself.
Paul especially mentions those who do the work of Christ. If we are in a small church and the pastor's salary is low, we need to see to it that he has everything he needs. Missionary giving is also important.
Rejoice Phil 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."
This verse doesn't say to rejoice when things are going well. It says to always rejoice, even when things are going poorly. If you are sick, rejoice. The Lord has something good to offer us even in the bad things in life. Be thankful for everything.
This is a hard one, but I have been surprised at how much my attitude can change when I thank God for the bad things in my life. It make it much easier to see the good in the situation. Sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers until we can learn the lessons he would like us to learn from the situation and rejoice in it.
Do Things In Moderation Phil 4:5
"Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."
Moderation means forbearance or gentleness. We as Christians need to be good examples and not fly off the handle over everything. We need to not have our egos hurt easily by what others say or do. Instead, we need to be gentle to everyone.
I think this includes a gentle heart. We should love all men, care for everyone, and it will show to the world.
Keeping ourselves in control will give us a much happier and peaceful life.
Don't Worry Phil 4:6-7
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. "
We don't need to worry about anything, because God will supply our needs if we just pray and let them be known to him. . I didn't say wants, but needs. Worry is showing a lack of faith and isn't obedience.
Worry can be a bad habit. A friend of mine learned this and shared her secret with me. Every time you worry, stop and pray. Tell yourself that God is taking care of you, so you don't need to worry about the situation. In time, the habit of worry will be broken.
Thank God for answering your prayers even before they are answered. Being thankful for his care is important and it also shows our faith in him.
Just Do It Phil 4:9
" Those things, which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Now it's time to put into practice all of things Paul has taught. God's promise is that his peace will be with you if you do.
Verse 11 - Learn Contentment
" Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
This is the verse that really struck me when I was searching for contentment. Paul says he had learn to be content, so it isn't something that just happens. We have to learn it.
Learning contentment didn't come overnight. Going through the tough things in life helped me to learn it. Rejoicing and being thankful helped me to learn it. I will admit I'm still not always content and I think it is a sin on my part. I need to work on this too.
Verse 12 - Be Happy Where You Are
"I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Unless, we are homeless and hungry, we have no idea what Paul was going through. His enemies stoned him, left him for dead. He was persecuted many times. If Paul could learn contentment than we can too.
In this country we have so many things to be thankful for. We have warm houses, food, more clothing than we need and so many creature comforts. Yes, we have the homeless and I am not speaking of them. Most of us have lives of luxury even when we are in need compared to others. We need to be grateful for all we have.
Now for the real secret of a contented life.
Verse 13 - You Need Christ
"I can do all things through Christ which strenghtheneth me"
We can make it through anything life throws at us if we just remember that God is on our side. He will help us make it through sickness, the death of a loved one, depression or anything else that may happen to us.
I hope that his Bible study will help you in your daily life. By writing it, it reinforces God's help for my life. God bless you.
- How Should I Pray?
A friend offered me this advice about prayer and it has always been a guideline for me as I pray. Use the word "Acts" (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) and you'll always pray in the proper...
- Controlling Your Emotions: A Testimony of God
- Hannah And Her Answered Prayer - Bible Study
Hannah is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. She comes somewhere after David and Paul. Even though she is in only one of the chapters of the Bible, her life offers some important lessons. We find...
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on March 07, 2017:
This is what I discovered when I tried to find it myself. I hope this helps you on your journey.
Stephanie James on March 07, 2017:
This is good advice. Lately, I have been trying to follow Jesus.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on February 27, 2015:
Hannah, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed reading it. Thanks.
Hannah David Cini from Nottingham on February 27, 2015:
Great article, there is so much wisdom in Paul's letters and it's easy to forget the fundamentals. This was a really good reminder of some really important principles.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on March 17, 2013:
RoneEiFran, Thanks for reading and your nice comment.
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on March 17, 2013:
Good study on a very important issue. Thanks.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on March 15, 2011:
crystolite, Thanks for reading it.
Emma from Houston TX on March 15, 2011:
I love it. Thanks Barbara.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on March 06, 2011:
Becky, I hope it helps.
Becky from Oklahoma on March 06, 2011:
Excellent Biblical advice. Thanks for sharing. Awesome Hub!
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on January 14, 2011:
Tmarajo, Thanks for reading the Hub and I hope you found something useful.
Tamarajo on January 14, 2011:
I love how you broke down this portion of scripture into steps and expounded on each one. A great practical and useful interpretation.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on January 13, 2011:
heart4theword, Thanks for reading and thanks for the advice. It may work for someone that reads the hub.
heart4theword from hub on January 13, 2011:
Nice study here Barbara Kay:) Like your format! I have to discipline myself, when I start to worry...to look to The Lord in Prayer:) Just this one thing in my life, has been so helpful, in avoiding ulcers. God Bless!