Whatever circumstances we have to face, and however hard they may be, God wants us to learn to be content, even while in those circumstances

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 1 – What it means to be a disciple and how Christian character is formed

Another character quality which every disciple needs to seek to develop in himself is contentment. That is the ability to be calm, at peace and reconciled to facing any circumstances that we are called upon to deal with. Few people have endured more than Apostle Paul. Yet, he tells us that he learned to be content in whatever situation he faced. But it is important to note the word ‘learned’. Paul is not saying that he was always content, from the outset. On the contrary, he is saying that he had to gradually learn how to be content, over a period of time. That should encourage all of us, who are not presently content, to believe that such contentment is truly possible. We can achieve it if we really want it, and are willing to persist in seeking for it:

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13 (ESV)
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