“So clearly Jesus gave Paul an amazing contentment.
[Philippians 3:8 and 4:11-13] are amazing verses. We all just long to be like that. I do. But here is something crucial. Paul’s contentment in Jesus in every circumstance did not make him passive as though there was nothing in the world to change or nothing to pursue. Remember his incredible passion to preach the gospel to every place and person that didn’t have Christ named. I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named. He said: I no longer have any room for work in these regions. I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain and get helped on my journey.
“So here is a man that seems driven. I mean he wants to go to Spain. So why wouldn’t we say: Paul, you don’t sound very, you know, content in Jesus. Why wouldn’t we say that? Jesus doesn’t make him passive in his satisfaction in Jesus. He doesn’t say: I have Jesus, I don’t need to go to Spain. I don’t need to risk my life to get the gospel to other people because I have Jesus. I have sweet fellowship. I will sit under a tree, cross my legs like a Buddha and let the world go to hell in a hand basket and I will be satisfied in Jesus. It simply doesn’t. Satisfaction in Jesus doesn’t work that way.
Contentment in Jesus is not paralyzing. It is energizing.
“A person who is so content in Jesus they have no desires to change anything in the world or to extend that contentment to others, they are not content in Jesus, not the Jesus of the Bible. The contentment Jesus gives is meant in this fallen world and probably for eternity to grow and grow and grow, to increase by expressing it in risk taking acts of love and by drawing others into it. It is the sort of contentment that gets bigger when it expands to include other people.”