I get email notices from this minister everyday. This is one I will share.
For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
— Philippians 4:11
These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of
man. Weeds grow easily. Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as
natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We do not need to sow
thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are
indigenous to earth. And so we do not need to teach men to complain;
they complain fast enough without any education.
But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. In order to
have wheat, we must plow and sow; if we want flowers, there must be
the garden, and all the gardener’s care.
Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have
it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature. It is the
new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be
specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the
grace that God has sown in us. Paul says, “I have learned . . . to be
content,” as much as to say he did not know how at one time. It cost
him some pains to discover that great truth. No doubt he sometimes
thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had
attained to it and could say, “I have learned in whatsoever situation
I am to be content,” he was an old, gray-headed man, upon the borders
of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.
We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities and share the
cold dungeon with him, if we also might by some means attain to his
good stature. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented with
learning or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be
exercised naturally but a science to be acquired gradually. We know
this from experience. Christian, hush that murmur, even though it is
natural, and continue as a diligent pupil in the College of