12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Woke up still pondering these verses. Verses 13 is used and quoted often, sometimes misused, misapplied. Here I think Paul is saying I can maneuver through all that comes my way-good and bad-through Christ, from which my strength-discernment, understanding, peace-come. His strength is accessible when we see as He sees. Perception of all circumstances run through our Father’s eyes, understanding though we might not see, gives GREAT strength.
This comes from faith, knowing He sees from beginning to end. These words and the truth that comes from them I know from walking through valleys. And standing on mountain tops. And existing in the mundane that seems never ending. The loneliness. Fear. Uncertainty. When I read these verses, and reflect back on ALL of these times, peace and assurance are mine.
But I also know I am a sheep. I forget. I loose sight. I panic. I doubt. That is why His word is so valuable, as gold and silver. To remember is an instruction God repeats from beginning to end. Because we forget. Again, the last verse is not a magic mantra that brings us all we want, but RATHER it reminds us that we do not walk alone. EVER. He sustains and provides all we ever need. I need to have these words imbedded in my heart. In doing so the secret contentment becomes a disposition that gives glory to God-the chief end of man.