What is your comfort food? Wikipedia describes comfort food as a traditional food which provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling. My comfort food is ice cream. Your comfort food may be that perfect steak from the barbeque or even that special dish from your favorite Chinese restaurant. These types of food have a way of providing a momentary enjoyment or comfort. At times we mix the emotion of being comfortable with the decision to be content.
The Apostle Paul had just received a contribution to his ministry and certainly this income had made him feel grateful, cared for, and even comfortable. Yet, he did not want to leave the impression that he lived for comfort. Someone who is living for comfort is always chasing his wants or his perceived peace of life. The problem with this lifestyle is that often that which gives comfort is often short lived, like comfort food. Paul then writes in Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” A content life is far superior because it has found satisfaction or fulfillment and has stopped chasing after the ever illusive comfort. In fact, Paul goes on to describe the stability of contentment in an ever changing world in verse 12. So what has provided this strength of contentment? The answer is found in the next verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Jesus Christ provides strength of contentment to His children because He has cared for our past, present, and future. Let me name a few ways that the Jesus gives us contentment or fulfillment from an inexhaustible list. He has cared for the regretful sins of the past by paying the price of forgiveness on a cross. He cares for us in the present by interceding for us before God, by giving us direction through a combination of biblical principles and inner peace (Phil 4:7) and by not abandoning us despite our selfish tendency. Jesus has even cared for our future and given us hope through preparing a home in heaven, through many more promises like His return to right the wrongs and through an incredible inheritance that awaits His children . There are so many ways that Jesus gives us strength of contentment. Perhaps the most sought after comfort in the world is the comfort of love, yet relationships are often being betrayed and at the very least separated by death. Yet, Jesus promises a love that cannot be broken by death, by tragedy or by the manipulations of others (Romans 8:35-39). Although we may not have all the comforts of life, we can live a life of complete contentment in Jesus because He has cared for all of our needs.