The Joy Of Contentment

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Acts 16:25

Introduction

I. How was Paul able to say, "Rejoice in the Lord always?"

 

II. How is it possible to do that?

 

III. We all face many problems and go through many trials.

 

IV. I am convinced that Paul was able to say that because he was a content individual.

 

V. "Godliness with contentment is great gain..." (I Tim 6:6).

 

VI. How was Paul able to be so content that he was able to sing praises to God while he was sitting in prison (Acts 16:25)?

 

VII. How can we become more content?

 

Body

I. Trust in God's Providence (Phil 1:12-15).

A. Paul's condition at the time of this writing.

1. He was in bonds (v.13).

2. He was confined to the king's palace.

3. Unable to come and go as he wished.

B. Yet Paul did not fret his condition.

1. Rather, he looked at his condition as an opportunity.

2. Now he had the chance to convert those of the king's household.

3. By not pouting and complaining but taking advantage of the opportunities set before him, he was able to spread the gospel and strengthen the brethren.

C. Paul trusted in God's providence.

1. Providence is God providing for our good through non-miraculous means.

a. Esther 4:14.
b. Genesis 45:5-8.

2. If we too look at problems in our lives as providential opportunities we will be blessed and those around us.

a. II Cor 1:3-4. Trials help us to comfort others.
b. James 1:2-4. Trials help us to develop patience.
c. I Peter 1:6-7. Trials make us stronger.

D. What if...

1. We were thrown in jail unjustly.

a. Would we pout and complain to God...
b. Or try to teach other prisoners and guards about Christ.

2. We lost our job because of our faith.

a. Would we fight and demand our job back...
b. Or look at it as an opportunity to come into contact with new people and make new friends.

3. We are pulled over by a police officer for speeding.

a. Complain and try to get out of the ticket...
b. Or invite the officer to services.

4. We are in a car accident that isn't our fault.

a. Yell at the individual who hit us...
b. Or give them a tract telling them about the church of Christ.

E. We ought to look at trials as opportunities to grow stronger and reach out to new people. This is how we can "count it all joy."

II. Learn to be Satisfied with Little (Phil 4:11-12).

A. Our society stresses just the opposite.

1. "He who dies with the most toys wins."

2. We live in the most materialistic society in the whole world.

3. A person's worth is all to often judged by what he possesses.

B. Paul tells us to be satisfied with little.

1. The problem with wanting to die with the most toys is that there is always someone with more than you.

2. Rather, we are told that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (I Tim 6:6-9).

a. Those that will be rich fall into a snare.
b. Money is not evil but the love of money is.

3. When we learn to be content with the necessities, it frees us from all of that worry and allows us to enjoy life more.

4. Our worth is not judged by how much we own but how well we have lived our lives.

C. If we learn to be satisfied with little, we are guaranteed to be content because God has promised to provide the things we need (Mt 6:31-33).

III. Live Independently of Your Circumstances (Acts 16:25).

A. What determines your outlook on life?

1. Is it your external circumstances?

2. Or your internal beliefs and values?

B. Paul was one who lived independently of his circumstances and therefore was very content.

1. Acts 16:25 - he was able to sing praises in prison.

2. He was able to be happy in spite of all the bad things that had happened to him. 

a. II Cor 4:16-5:2.
b. II Cor 11:23-27.

C. Do we allow our circumstances to determine our outlook on life?

1. Physical problems are bound to come.

2. Undoubtedly all of us have people who don't care for us too much.

3. People will treat us poorly.

4. Our job is to keep a Christian outlook on things and not allow these bad events to cause us to sin.

a. Christ on the cross (Luke 23:34).
b. Stephen when he was being stoned (Acts 7:59-60).

IV. Be Unselfish (Phil 4:14-18).

A. Show me a selfish person and I'll show you an unhappy, discontent person.

B. It is impossible to be content when you're always wanting more for yourself.

C. Paul was glad for the aid that Philippi had given him because it did them good.

D. Some examples:

1. Mary or Judas... who was the happier individual (John 12:1f).

2. Barnabas or Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:36-37; 5:1f)

3. John or Peter (Mt 26:75; John 19:26-27).

4. Gaius or Diotrephes (III John 1-11).

E. We must learn to be unselfish if we wish to be content and enjoy life (Romans 12:12-13).

Conclusion.

I. Contentment truly does bring great joy and peace into our lives.

 

II. If a person were to describe you, would "content" be a word they used?

 

III. Christians ought to be the most content people in the world.

 

IV. Are you content? Why or why not?

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10/05/2012