“I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.” (Philippians 4:10-14, MSG)
Many “well-meaning” Christians try to lure people into receiving Christ by promising a prosperous life. Although the Gospel does promise us the good news of salvation from eternal damnation (and there is no better news than that!), the falsehood that everything in life will be prosperous is contrary to God's word. In fact, Christ promises us, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, TLB).
The problem with the message of “prosperity” is that many Christian circles use it as a means to compare lives (while pointing fingers) and say, “If you are in lack, then you MUST be doing something wrong!” To bring such accusations is nonsense. This type of mindset really comes from a pompous attitude. To think someone is righteous in their own strength is arrogance. If you seemingly have a “perfect life”, then it is by God's grace alone.
God weeps and hurts with us when we go through struggles and trials of every kind. This is the product of living in a fallen and sinful world. However, it is up to God and His business alone in what areas we will (or will not) “prosper” in.
Paul had it right. Whether he had much or had little, it did not define who he was; nor did it deter him from keeping the faith. Some believers shame the rich, some shame the poor. Some believers accuse the “little” faith of the sick, some accuse the faith to get well. Whether rich or poor, healthy or sick, it should not bring shame or arrogance. We as Christians must be stripped of self-entitlements and learn how to be confident and content in all circumstances.
To be content, simply means to be satisfied in wherever you are in your life today. Even our trials can be turned for God's glory (and that's certainly something to celebrate)! How about you? Where are you in your life today? My hope is that we can be content and confident as Paul and say, “I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.”