Paul’s epistle to the Philippian church is an inspired missionary prayer letter. He has received a financial gift from the Philippian church, but he realizes the gift is also from his Heavenly Father, who supplies all his needs. Accordingly, he thanks God and he thanks the Philippian believers (4:10, 14).
God had taught Paul to be content (4:11–13).
Although God—working through the Philippian church—has supplied Paul’s needs, that hasn’t always been the case. He has had it all and had nothing. His famous response is “I can do all things through him who strengthens me!” Now clearly this doesn’t mean that through Christ he can run a three-minute mile, beat a grand master in a chess match, or do long division problems in his head. Paul is not saying he is superman. Rather, through Christ’s strengthening power, he can persevere through all the challenges and hardships that come his way. He can be humiliated or on top of the world, starving or stuffed, having nothing or having it all. He has learned how to be content. He is self-sufficient in Christ—depending on no one but Jesus Christ for his strength.
God has been teaching us to be content.
Christian contentment is not just a feel-good optimism that tries to see the bright side of life. Rather, it is a settled assurance based in the goodness of God. It is a confidence that our perfectly good God gives us exactly what we need for each day. It is believing that God is good and trusting him to care for us (cf. 1 Tim 6:6–11). True contentment is not something in which you can get a lifetime certification; rather, it is learning day by day to trust in the Lord, not to lean on our own understanding, and to acknowledge God in all of our ways as he directs our paths (Prov 3:5–6).
This past month we have been serving in Ohio, reporting on our trip to Antofagasta to our home church and visiting two other churches. We have served two weeks at Peniel Bible Camp, first in a family camp and then in a week of junior camp. This coming month we will be visiting churches in Ohio and Pennsylvania and serving as counselors for two weeks of teen camp at Peniel. We will also be preparing for an extended trip to Minnesota to visit six churches and so Mark can take a Doctor of Ministry course at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. We always appreciate your prayers for us as we travel and minister over the next month.
- July 17: Faith Bible Church, Bellevue, OH
- July 24: Salem Bible Church, Salem, OH
- July 25-30: Teen 1 Camp, Peniel Bible Camp
- July 31: Church of the Open Door, Connelsville, PA
- August 1-6: Teen 2 Camp, Peniel Bible Camp
- August 7: Greencastle Bible Church, Carroll, OH
- August 14: First Baptist Church, Granite Falls, MN
The Lord continues to provide teammates for us in prayer and financial support. Our current support level is 56% of our required monthly support.
Thank God with us:
- for new churches and individuals partnering with us, bringing our support total to 56%.
- for many opportunities to serve God and others this summer.
Pray to God with us:
- for God’s continued provision of teammates in prayer and finances.
- for God’s grace through a busy summer of ministry.
- for God’s wisdom in determining next steps.