Rest as a Result of
Confidence in God
Dr Richard Forde
Bible Teacher, Pinecrest.
" ... for I have learned in whatsoever state
I am, therewith to be content. 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" Phil 4:11B 13.
Paul states that he has LEARNED to be content in each situation
of life, in whatever condition he found himself.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that
we do not identify with such a statement, but it is important
to note that Paul said, "I have LEARNED." Thus,
this is a process, a state of being that is reached through
In verse 12, Paul states "I am INSTRUCTED." He
had been taught in the school of the Holy Spirit, the laboratory
of experience. And so he was brought to that level of maturity
in which he could honestly say, "I know how to be abased,
and I know how to abound. Wherever I am, and in whatever situation
I may find myself; full or hungry, having an abundance or
in great need, I am satisfied." The grace and strength
to accomplish this came to him through the Lord Jesus Christ.
For he exclaimed, "I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me."
Too often, in our Christian experience, we allow circumstances
to determine the state of our contentment. In the Book of
Job, we are introduced to a man that the Scripture described
as being "perfect and upright, who feared God and eschewed
Job had not only spiritual wealth, but great material wealth
also. In the first chapter, we are told that there was a day
when the "sons of God" came "to present themselves
before the Lord, and Satan came also among them... and the
Lord said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job,
that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an
upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil?"
The devil then challenged the LORD, "doth Job fear God
for naught? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about
his house ... Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and
his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine
hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee
to Thy face."
The unfortunate thing about this challenge, is that too often
the devil has a point. We allow seeming misfortunes to determine
the degree of our intimacy with God, and our state of contentment.
Job's attitude, on the other hand was, "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."
In the midst of his loss, Job worshipped and honored God.
How often have we heard of Christians who have experienced
a great loss, either of possession or perhaps, the death of
a loved one, or some other calamity, and have turned their
backs on God in anger.
Many times we do not understand why God allows certain situations
to touch our lives, but even when we do not understand, we
must still trust in His integrity, for He is a Good God and
our heavenly Father, who loves us with an eternal love. The
Bible states that "All things work together for good
..." We must believe this. The emphasis here is on ALL
things. Whether they appear to us to be good or bad, favorable
or unfavorable, the Word of God says ALL things. Another translation
renders this, "God causes ALL things to work together
for Good ..." Even that which the enemy means for evil,
God will turn around for our good.
Paul said that in whatever situation he found himself, with
that he was content. He was beaten with rods on three occasions,
whipped five times, shipwrecked and in the ocean for a night
and a day, imprisoned, stoned and left for dead, often in
weariness and painfulness, and besides all this, the burden
of his responsibility for the church was upon him, and yet,
his peace was unruffled. To the very end, when he realized
that he was about to be martyred, we find him saying, "For
I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure
is at hand" 2Tim.4:6
What was the lesson which Paul learned that resulted in this
kind of contentment? It was that God "rules over the
affairs of men," and that he could abandon himself to
the faithfulness of God, putting his total hope, faith, and
confidence in God. And so, he proclaimed, " ... for I
know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that
Let us ask the LORD to enroll us in the school of the Holy
Spirit that He might instruct us also, that we may learn to
be content in any and every situation in which we find ourselves.
We must be instructed by God Himself in order to learn this