by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation (Phil. 4:12).
The secret of happiness is contentment. And the secret of contentment is knowing Jesus Christ.
That doesn't mean that no other philosophy could teach us contentment. When Alexander the Great met a philosopher who lived in a cave, the world conqueror urged the old man to ask him a favor. After all, Alexander owned the world and could supply anything. But the wise man merely asked the monarch to step out of the sunlight. That small favor left him content.
Contentment means that the vessel is full. It contains all it can hold. One cannot add to the content.
If, for us, living is Christ, we have all that makes our lives successful. Other things may be nice or not so nice. But essentially they cannot affect our person. Christ has filled us already. We are content.
It's my observation that it is even harder for people who "have plenty" to learn contentment than it is for those who are "in want." Generally speaking there are more happy people among the poor than among the rich. In fact, discontentment is introduced among the poor when they see a chance to get rich. Few people can handle abundance and still find their riches in Christ.
Don't try to become rich if you want to be happy. Find contentment in Christ. That will hold for every situation.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version