The Secret of Success, Happiness, & Contentment

A former colleague I haven't seen in over 20 years was telling me how he has spent the last several DECADES looking for success, happiness, and contentment by improving his circumstances. It hasn't worked. He was more content when he had nothing.

The problem? If a man cannot find contentment where he is, it's rare he will find it later in the new place he would rather be. So if better circumstances won't give a man contentment, how does it happen?

Paul put it this way: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12). And what was this "secret" he learned? "I can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives me strength" (4:13).

Paul is saying the secret of contentment is not getting what we want, but wanting what we get. If we let Him, Christ will make us content with "what we get." But that's not going to happen as long as we're still clinging to the idea that "what we want" can also be our god.