Please read Philippians 4:10-20
If ever there was a holiday when it was fitting to talk about being “full,” Thanksgiving would be that day
Eating is what most people associate with Thanksgiving Day. Families travel great distances to share a special meal together. Turkey is almost a requirement along with the staples of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries. And don’t forget the pies! Usually being full is not a problem on Thanksgiving.
But what if all that food were gone? What if the only thing Mom had to serve on Thanksgiving Day was a frozen pizza? And not even the $6.00 deluxe frozen pizza but the $0.97 party pizza? Would we still be thankful? Could we speak of being “full” after a meal like that?
“… for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 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. I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 )
As the Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians, he teaches us some valuable lessons about being “full.” He writes, “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full….”
This “abounding” and being “full” had little or nothing to do with a full belly or a bountiful bank account. In fact, the apostle tells the Philippians that he was content (having a satisfied or a happy state of mind) whether he had much or nothing. “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
The Apostle Paul himself faced things that few, if any, of us will have to worry about this Thanksgiving. In the course of his missionary journeys he was shipwrecked and imprisoned. He experienced sleeplessness, hunger and thirst, fastings, cold and nakedness. While we may be in the midst of a “global financial crisis,” few of us need to worry about being thrown in a dungeon or being stripped of our clothes.
Despite all this hardship, what does Paul say? He proclaims that he is content and full! “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full….” And his secret comes as no surprise to us when he adds, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The apostle was content in every situation because he had Christ. He found his fullness in his Savior, his Righteousness—Jesus!
Cannot we say the same?
In Jesus Christ we have full and free forgiveness of sins. In Christ we are filled up with grace. In Christ we sinners are filled up with the righteousness of God. In Christ we have the eternal supply of God’s love showered upon us. In Christ we are given something that will not rust, fall apart, or run out. In Christ we believers have an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for us (see 1 Pet. 1:4)/
It is Christ who gave Paul the strength to be content in every condition in which he found himself. It is the same Jesus Christ who gives each of us strength to be content in whatever condition we may be.
So, you see, dear fellow Christians, even before you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner, everyone who is in Christ can say with Paul, “I AM FULL!”
Oh, bless the Lord, my soul,
Nor let His mercies lie
Forgotten in unthankfulness
And without praises die! Amen. (TLH #27:2)