Choosing Joy When You Can’t Make Ends Meet


From the Series: Choosing Joy

Why do we struggle with contentment?

Because we believe this big, fat lie:

A little more, and you’ll finally be happy!

We combat this lie with the one truth – the big key that Paul discovered:

Real contentment is only possible in the strength of our relationship with Jesus Christ!

Paul expands on this here:

Philippians 4:10-20 NRSV

[10] I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. [11] Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. [12] I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. [13] I can do all things through him who strengthens me. [14] In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. [15] You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. [16] For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. [17] Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. [18] I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. [19] And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. [20] To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.


1. Value what you have over what you want.

We live in the world of consumer product marketing. The goal of retailers and product makers is to convince us that what we have is inadequate and that we really need something else. We live in the land of retailing experts, so we’re hit as hard as anyone with this. But contentment starts, not in looking around at what we could have, but at what we already have and being thankful to God for it.

2. Find unlimited strength in your relationship with Christ.

John 6:35 NRSV

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 

3. When you have a need, sow a seed.

The best time to give is when it hurts to do so. Why?

  • It forces us out of our comfort zone.
  • We have no choice but to trust God to provide.
  • We learn that giving is more thrilling than having.
  • God responds to it!

4. Trust God to provide from His unlimited resources.

At the end of our wanting, the deep waters of a relationship with Jesus are completely soul-satisfying!

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