I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
“Since God is contented with Himself alone, if you have Him, you may be contented with Him alone, and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you. It may be that while you had these things they shared with God in your affection, a great part of the stream of your affection ran that way; God would have the full stream run to Him now.”
Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1646) in The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment (Preach the Word) 39.
Today in Denver there is a memorial service for one of the most generous people I have ever met, Paul Lewan. It will stream here live at 10:30am Denver Time.
Lewan was contented with God alone. The full stream of his affections ran to Him. Though his hard work allowed him to amass great wealth, he lived simply and gave generously. He knew He had Christ, so he had everything he would ever need. And he wanted the whole world to know Jesus too.
One helpful exercise to live like Lewan is seeing how you react when “outward comforts” are removed from you. Whatever you think you need has become an idol to you. Jesus knew the biggest idol that would test us was money. Money can’t save is, satisfy us, or give us the security we long for. Only God can. Christ is all we need.
And though he did not figure it out right way, the Apostle Paul, long before Lewan, discovered this secret. We can too. But how do we get there? We have to let go of what we are holding in our hands. Generous giving is the only pathway to contentment.
Both the Apostle Paul and Paul Lewan would say “give generously as God’s got you!”