12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Do Circumstances Determine Your Thankfulness?
by Kathy Johnson
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 12-13 KJV
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 12-13 NLT
- know how to be abased – how to be hungry, how to suffer want without being overcome by the temptation and losing trust in God to provide or stepping outside God’s will to remedy the problems.
- know how to abound, how to be full, without being proud, thinking we don’t need God, or extravagant.
Paul had learned to be content in all conditions. His contentment was in Jesus, and doing His will. It did not depend on his circumstances. That is why Paul could say that his thankfulness was not based upon his own need. Paul had a grateful spirit. Even though Paul was in need, he was content where he was. Paul had to learn contentment; it does not come naturally. He suffered many hardships. He was in prison, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and endured sleepless nights, was hungry, thirsty, and cold; but in all he had learned to be content, and make the best of it. To gain contentment, he needed the strength of Jesus Christ. This is a special act of grace (the influence or spirit of God operating in humans) to adapt ourselves to every condition of life, and stay in a thankful frame of mind through it all. Don’t let circumstances shake you.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Ephesians 3:16 NLT
Job comes to mind. Job sacrificed to God when he was the richest man in the East and when he had lost all his possessions and his children. Even in the midst of his suffering he gave thanks to God. God is still God regardless of our situations and circumstances.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
What would shake your faith and cause you to lose faith in God? Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. We need a solid rock trust that God wants what is best for us at all times.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Don’t allow your circumstances to determine your thankfulness. Regardless of circumstances God is always good. He has been good to you. Thank God at all times.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18