“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
“Everywhere and in all things I have learned”
“Everywhere” and “all things” show that Paul was prepared for every contingency. “Everywhere” means in every particular case. Wherever Paul might have been geographically located, he had learned this. A mature person’s station or situation in life does not affect his poise. A mature person does not have to live in Vancouver, British Columbia (the most beautiful city in the world, by the way!!), or Phoenix, Arizona, to be happy. He can be content anywhere as long as he finds his composure in Christ (vv. 11, 13). We do not have to live in the best neighborhood in town to be happy.
“All things” means in all circumstances, in all cases. If we have all the money in the world, all the prestige we could possibly achieve, it still will not make us content. No amount of power will give us what contentment in Christ gives. No association in life will satisfy us. Our possessions will not satisfy. Status symbols will not satisfy. Economic status symbols are not the basis of happiness. People who live for status symbols are miserable.
A mature believer prepares for any contingency he may face by contentment in Christ.
Have the circumstances of life gotten you down? Are you enslaved to the details of life? As long as we make an idol out of our desires, we will remain in slavery. True liberty comes from a life centered on Christ.