Contentment does not mean we do not have needs. Of course, we will still be in need. Later in chapter 4 Paul talks about being in need and how the Philippians provided for him at that time. Contentment can remain even when we are not comfortable with what we have and the situation we are in.
Paul gives us one more secret for how that is possible:
Don’t worry about anything. Rather, in every area of life let God know what you want, as you pray and make requests, and give thanks as well. And God’s peace, which is greater than we can ever understand, will keep guard over our hearts and minds in King Jesus. (4:6-7)
Secret to Contentment #4: Pray! Pray fervently! Pray all the time, in any situation! Say what is on your mind. Ask for what you need. Thank Him for what He has already done. Surrender to God’s will. Express your willingness to trust Him. As we remember what God has done for us in the past, prayer helps contentment to become real and solidifying our hearts.
What have we learned about contentment from Philippians?
There is a way past anxiety and on to contentment and joy in all situations. It is not by eliminating need as if that were possible. It is not by attaining all we want and fulfilling all we desire; when do we ever reach that point? As we fix our focus past this present world and on to the rewards and reality of the world to come, as we face realistically our needs and give those to God in prayer, as we become oriented more towards serving others than ourselves, we can be rest assured that God is in control of all things and our futures will be okay. Paul never promises a life without struggle or a life filled only with blessings — remember where he was when he was writing this letter — but Paul is sure of this:
I have strength for everything in the one who gives me power. (4:13)