December 4, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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In this study guide, we’ll discuss key thoughts and practical ideas from Philippians 4:10–23. Learn about the secret of contentment and the strength of God that gets us through everything we experience in life.
Ice Breaker: Name a book that affected you so profoundly (emotionally or intellectually) you still regularly think about it?
Memory Verse: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”—Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
What does it mean to be content (autarkēs)? It’s a complete satisfaction, a feeling of sufficiency and wholeness. It’s being totally satisfied with life because of one’s relationship with God, a feeling of self-sufficiency supplied and produced by God through the indwelling power of Christ.
In Philippians 4, Paul tells us the secret of contentment and joy-filled living: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” There are few verses in all of Scripture that are more commonly misunderstood than this one. As hard as this is to believe, Philippians 4:13 isn’t about God helping you win a sports game, get a promotion, build a successful business, or buy a Ferrari. It’s about something much more important and essential to life! In actuality, this commonly quoted verse can be more accurately described this way: Whatever happens, through Christ, I have the strength to endure it.
Essentially, we’re able to endure or bear anything that has come and will come our way through the all-sufficient strength and wholeness Christ provides. It’s the Lord’s supernatural power to make us an immovable object in the face of any and all irresistible forces in order to achieve what the Lord wills and purposes for us. It’s a combative, confrontive force to endure and accomplish all He gives us faith for. So, in every way, faith and endurance/strength go hand-in-hand and are both built on the foundation of God’s love for us!
As believers, we have the Spirit of God living in us and, in Him, we are made whole, full, satisfied, have peace, joy, are filled with faith, and built up with a supernatural strength to not only endure but overcome everything this world can throw our way. And we can show those who don’t yet know Jesus the way to a life of contentment here and now, as well as an eternal glory to come!
Discussion Question 1: What words or phrases of today’s Scripture stand out to you the most, and why?
Discussion Question 2: What does this passage teach you about Jesus? What does it teach you about yourself?
Discussion Question 3: What do you believe the secret to contentment is?
Discussion Question 4: Where does a believer’s strength come from?
Discussion Question 5: Why is it important we live generously and receive with joy the generosity of others?
Discussion Question 6: How can you apply the principles of Philippians 4:10–23 into your life right now?
Here are two things to practice in this season:
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.