Participants: Gordon Kainer
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000326
00:31 Welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:33 I'm Gordon Kainer retired Bible teacher
00:36 from Santa Rosa, California.
00:39 The title of my presentation today
00:43 is I have learnt. I would ask you to pray
00:47 with me at this time.
00:51 Our father with chart in heaven, we thank you
00:54 Lord for being a God, who is with us in every
00:57 circumstance of life and may we learn to say
01:02 with the apostle Paul. I have learned and
01:04 whatever state I am that would be content
01:08 is our prayer in Jesus name. Amen
01:13 Today, we want to focus on book of Bible
01:16 that we called Philippians. And to
01:18 get started I want to ask you
01:20 couple of questions. Who are the
01:22 Philippians anyway. What do we know
01:25 about the author of this letter and the
01:27 circumstances in which it was written.
01:32 Was mostly Philippians is really not a book,
01:35 it's a letter and a puzzle written by the
01:38 apostle Paul. And although he was
01:41 gifted writer, some people see Paul as a
01:46 straight lace theologian rather than the
01:48 warm hearted evangelist. Well that may be
01:51 true for some of Paul's letters, But
01:53 Philippians is very upbeat and
01:56 encouraging. It is generally believed that
01:59 this letter was written around 59 A.D.,
02:04 ten years earlier Paul and Cyrus had
02:07 traveled to Philippine a city that got its
02:10 name from Phillip the second who was
02:12 the father of the Alexander the Great.
02:14 Paul and Cyrus were probably the very
02:17 first Christian missionaries to preach
02:19 the gospel to this very Pagan city.
02:24 While ministering to the people Paul
02:27 casted demon out of slave girl, who had
02:30 brought her honors a great deal of
02:32 money because of her powers to divine
02:36 or fortune tell. Well the wrath of her
02:39 honors was stood up and they got the
02:42 whole city stood up resulting in Paul and
02:45 Cyrus being savagely beaten and thrown
02:47 into a local jail. At midnight they are
02:52 found praying and singing. And then an
02:56 earthquake occurs when the jailer
02:59 supposes that all the prisoners have
03:02 escaped, he was ready to you know
03:05 commit suicide. But Paul reassures him
03:08 that all the prisoners will still there.
03:12 Now this strange turn of events has a
03:14 profound impact on the jailer, indicated
03:18 by the fact that he goes up to Paul with
03:20 this question. What must I do to be
03:24 saved. Paul answer is so concise and so
03:29 beautifully stated. When he says to the
03:32 jailer believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
03:37 and you will be saved. It reminds me of
03:39 Peter's admission that we should always
03:42 be ready to give a reason today we have
03:45 to defend our faith. Well Paul certainly
03:47 was. It resulted into conversion of the
03:51 jailer and his entire family. And I believe
03:55 that they were the charter members of
03:57 the Philippian church. And no doubt
03:59 where in Paul's mind as he writes this
04:03 letter. The verse for which Philippians is
04:07 best known is chapter 4 and verse 4.
04:12 It reads Rejoice in the Lord always.
04:15 Again I will say, rejoice!
04:18 This is the 8th and 9th time that Paul
04:21 tells his readers to rejoice. Now that
04:25 word is a powerful word. It means to be
04:28 delighted, to be jubilant and to celebrate.
04:33 It doesn't mean a momentary high, but
04:36 rather prolonged consistent confident
04:39 attitude. Those who don't know too
04:42 much about Paul might say well it is for
04:45 him to tell us to rejoice, he probably
04:47 had a pretty easy life. He probably didn't
04:49 have a lot of difficulties during his
04:51 lifetime. Let's read second Corinthians
04:57 chapter, chapter 11 verses 24 & 27.
05:03 From the Jews five times I received
05:05 forty stripes minus one. Three times I
05:08 was beaten with rods; once I was stoned;
05:11 three times I was shipwrecked;
05:14 a night and a day I have been in the
05:16 deep; in journeys often, in perils of
05:19 waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of
05:22 my own countrymen, in perils of the
05:24 Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in
05:28 the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in
05:31 perils among false brethren; in weariness
05:33 and toil, in sleeplessness often,
05:37 in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in
05:40 cold and nakedness.
05:44 In addition to this Paul wrote this letter
05:47 while he was confined to a damp stingy
05:50 old cold prison in Rome. He had been
05:54 chained there for about 3 years. Charge
05:57 for crimes he had never committed.
06:01 Let me ask you a question. What kind of
06:03 letter would you have written had you've
06:06 been in those kind of circumstances.
06:09 I suppose you and I would have clamored
06:12 for sympathy rather than providing hope
06:15 and encouragement to others. And then
06:18 Paul goes on in Philippians chapter 4
06:21 verse 6 and 11, where he writes,
06:25 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by
06:28 prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
06:31 let your requests be made known to God;
06:34 Not that I speak in regard to need, for
06:37 I have learned in whatever state I am,
06:40 to be content: So I have learned, you know
06:46 contentment is not a natural propensity.
06:50 It doesn't come naturally, it doesn't
06:52 come easily, it doesn't come quickly
06:56 in fact Paul makes the statement when
06:58 he is an old man just a few years before
07:00 he was beheaded. It is something that all
07:04 of us have to learn and it is learned only
07:07 with great effort and with divine help.
07:11 And I belief for that reason Paul adds
07:14 this comment in verse 13 of this same
07:17 chapter when he writes, I can do all
07:20 things through Christ who strengthens
07:23 me. Yes, even being content. As I was
07:28 working on this sermon, I typed the
07:31 word contentment into my Goggle
07:33 search. To see what might come up.
07:36 The first reference that appeared was
07:39 www.contentment.org. when I click that
07:47 on up came this message this page
07:51 cannot be found. I had a laugh at that
07:55 and I thought to myself I have supposed
07:56 that might be the message that would
07:57 come up with a lot of people. But I did
08:01 find numerous bits of information on the
08:05 internet one of them was the sermon by
08:07 the great Charles Spurgeon, where I
08:10 consider one of the great preachers of
08:12 the 19th century. The sermon was the
08:15 one that he delivered in the New York,
08:18 excuse me, New Park Street Chapel in
08:20 London on Sabbath evening March 25
08:24 1860. The title of the sermon was
08:27 contentment based on the text for I have
08:30 learned in whatever state I am there we
08:33 have to be content. Well in this sermon
08:36 recorded in my internet the Spurgeon
08:41 makes this insightful observation he says
08:44 to have learn contentment is a more
08:47 significant and desirable accomplishment
08:50 then the highest degree a person can
08:53 possibly attain. Well the Bible speaks
08:56 the great deal about expressing thanks
08:59 being grateful, a being contempt refusing
09:02 to fed and complain. This in turn brings
09:06 with it joy and peace and rest to the soul.
09:11 These are the positive qualities that are
09:16 byproduct of having successfully endure
09:19 pain and discontentment and suffering.
09:23 Someone has said one learns more from
09:25 10 days of agony then from 10 years of
09:30 his. In fact I don't think you will have to
09:33 wait 10 days. Let me share the
09:39 experience that I had at last
09:41 Thanksgiving, my wife and I were
09:42 driving through the mountains that were
09:44 in the border of California and Oregon.
09:49 It was snowing heavily and sort of
09:51 became necessary for me to put on the
09:53 car chains and I dread at the moment,
09:56 but if I finally park my car beside the
09:58 road and I had no more then just parked
10:01 it when a gentlemen in a smaller car pull
10:06 behind me and we both get out and said
10:09 you want me to put the chains on for you
10:10 and I said you are on how much he said
10:12 $20. Go forward, so he put the chains on
10:16 the care for me and we started up again
10:19 and drove to the other side of the
10:20 mountain and now the chains have to
10:22 come off. Well, I thought that this would be
10:24 easy, well I got one chain off the tire
10:28 rather quickly. But it was a different
10:31 story with that second tire. I laid another
10:34 car for over an hour pulling, tugging
10:39 doing this and doing that and I just
10:41 couldn't get that chain off. It was
10:44 extremely windy, it was cold and I was
10:48 laying another car these trucks were
10:50 passing by and cars and it was splashing
10:53 this cold flesh into my face.
10:56 And although I had gloves on, my hands were
10:59 wet, they were so cold, I couldn't hardly
11:01 move my fingers and right then and
11:04 there this text came to my mind.
11:08 Rejoice in the Lord always. And I thought
11:12 why did this text come to my mind at this
11:15 time and just as quickly came the answer.
11:21 I wasn't being asked to rejoice in the snow
11:24 or in this cold or in the slush.
11:28 I was being asked to rejoice in the Lord.
11:31 While being extremely uncomfortable,
11:35 I could take comfort that God knew my
11:39 circumstances here, where with I was
11:41 going through and he would help me in
11:45 his own way and in his good time. Well
11:49 to make a long story short, a trucker stop
11:54 came to my rescue and in one minute he
11:57 had that chain off of that tier.
12:02 I can understand that for some of you,
12:04 you might say well big deal that's not really
12:07 such a painful experience. I realized
12:10 that and most of this gone through much
12:12 more painful experiences than that,
12:14 where we have had horrifying trials and
12:17 difficult moments and shocking
12:19 disappointments, but this is the point I
12:21 want to make God's promises fit all sizes
12:27 of problems. This is brought out I think
12:31 throughout scripture. For example Elijah
12:35 as in acts had float just a small piece of
12:38 metal in the river, but he makes it float
12:40 for this fellow who had lost it.
12:44 At the same time one angel destroys the
12:46 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. And in Christ
12:52 life, we find him for example making
12:54 sure that there was a coin in a fishes
12:56 mouth at the same time he feeds 5000
13:01 people and he resurrects righteous.
13:03 It didn't make any difference how small,
13:05 how large, God had the solution. Let me
13:10 suggest four guidelines that might help
13:13 us to experience contentment.
13:17 First of all when the Bible tells us
13:19 in everything give thanks. It doesn't mean
13:22 that when we are going through hardship
13:24 and suffering we are going to enjoy the
13:26 experience not at all this needs to make
13:30 clear because otherwise you feel like a
13:33 hypocrite. Being thankful has nothing
13:36 to do about liking something that's painful,
13:40 but rather it is an expression of faith in
13:43 God's abiding presence. It is
13:46 acknowledging that God is faithful
13:49 and that he will not let us endure anything
13:51 that we cannot bear. It means that we
13:57 believe that we are in good hands.
14:00 When we have committed ourselves
14:01 to God and that there is no reason to fret
14:05 or complain. Let's read Psalms 37 verses 1-5.
14:16 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor
14:18 be envious of the workers of iniquity.
14:22 For they shall soon be cut down like the
14:23 grass, And wither as the green herb.
14:28 Trust in the Lord, and do good,
14:31 Dwell in the land, and feed on His
14:33 faithfulness. Delight yourself also in
14:36 the Lord, And He shall give you
14:39 the desires of your heart.
14:41 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also
14:44 in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
14:51 The length of time that elapses between
14:55 a painful experience and an attitude of
14:59 praise reveals the degree of trust and the
15:04 depth of your relationship with God.
15:09 You know when life passes out
15:10 it's the end, difficulties and failure,
15:15 discouragement and fear, the more
15:18 we trust God the greater will be our
15:22 ability to endure. The sooner we will
15:26 recover and then more quickly
15:28 we will discover silver linings
15:32 in that particular experience.
15:36 Remaining positive leads a person away
15:40 from anger, from resentment making
15:46 excuses blaming other people.
15:52 If we keep ourselves under control it will
15:56 allow us to examine the situation, discover
16:01 what we can learn from the experience
16:04 that we have just gone through.
16:08 I like someone who said sorrows are our
16:11 best educators, we can see Father through
16:15 tear then through a telescope.
16:22 As a bible teacher, I couldn't discover
16:25 that I shared with my students some of my
16:27 greatest trials and painful moments.
16:30 There were times when my students
16:33 and I would laugh. Well, I can assure you
16:36 there is a time I was going through
16:38 those experiences, I don't think there were
16:41 bit funny, I didn't enjoy them at all.
16:45 But the passage of time and God working
16:50 in that time has way of healing hearts
16:55 and changing our perspective.
16:59 It reminds me of Abraham and Moses
17:01 excuse me, Abraham and Sarah who
17:04 experience a lifetime of suffering and
17:07 disappointment and finally when that
17:11 miracle child was born they named him
17:14 Isaac, which means laughter.
17:20 Some day God will reveal to us the
17:23 worth, the purpose, the timing and even
17:29 the humor in our trials when I say
17:33 timing, you know, the Bible is filled
17:35 with expressions of waiting upon the
17:37 Lord to let him lead in these difficult
17:41 moments. Now this time when we will
17:45 discover the purpose and the meaning of
17:47 everything will occur when they
17:48 redeemed that given the opportunity to
17:50 see infant beginning. To seek God's
17:53 wisdom and his goodness and see his
17:56 love as it becomes obvious to us, as we
17:59 go back and look at all these events.
18:03 And what are the results. Well
18:06 we read about it in Revelation chapter 21 verse 4.
18:11 And God will wipe away every tear from
18:13 their eyes; there shall be no more pain,
18:17 nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no
18:19 more pain, for the former things have
18:22 passed away." But I ask you my way,
18:31 why not allow God to wipe away the tears
18:35 from our eyes, so we can experience right
18:38 right now of the peace and joy that
18:40 comes from annoying that all us well
18:43 when we have entrusted ourselves
18:45 into Gods care. I like the way Ellen White
18:49 pursuit, no doubt you have heard this
18:52 many times God never leads his children
18:55 otherwise then they would choose to be
18:58 led, if they could see the end from the
19:01 beginning, it's not a wonderful promise.
19:06 Secondly true joy is not dependent on
19:09 special occasions or exhilarating
19:11 experiences. I am not saying having fun
19:15 and enjoying oneself and being
19:17 entertained to sinful are wrong, but they
19:20 must be seen for what they are. They are
19:22 momentary versions, temporary hives,
19:26 designed to distract to provide a
19:28 momentary escape from harsh reality.
19:33 On the other hand, joy is the state of
19:35 mind that reflects the way of life
19:39 regardless of the circumstances.
19:43 Someone is absorbed that when things
19:44 go wrong for the Christian his eyes turn
19:46 toward the throne rather than running to
19:48 the phone. I think there is a lot of truth in
19:51 that statement. Thirdly, it is essential that
19:56 we learn to enjoy whatever stage in life
20:00 we find ourselves in. Many people seem
20:06 to live in a fantasy world.
20:08 Always thinking that in the later time or in a
20:10 different situation they would really
20:13 enjoy life. I remember many of my
20:16 students would come to me and say
20:19 you know we just had a different teacher
20:22 or different teachers or different text
20:24 books or different classical joke or may be
20:27 be just be in the different school
20:30 we would enjoy it. But for many this kind of
20:34 of attitude develops into an ongoing cycle.
20:38 It's a kind of like becomes a life long
20:40 experience in thinking that way.
20:44 For example, some may say if I just live in
20:47 a different place, I just had a different
20:50 job or a different boss they just had more
20:55 money, if I just had married somebody
20:59 else. I saw recently that someone stated
21:06 the world is full of people looking for
21:09 spectacular happiness while snubbing
21:13 contentment. Some of you might recall
21:20 the Warren Commission. It was
21:22 appointed to determine whether anyone
21:25 else beside Lee Harvey Oswald was
21:28 involved in the death of president
21:31 Kennedy. Now Oswald's wife was called
21:35 before that commission called to testify
21:38 regarding her husband and she made the
21:41 following statement in faulty English.
21:45 My husband, you know, like the
21:46 United States. When he go to Russia,
21:49 he no like Russia. When he come back to
21:52 United States, he said he like Cuba.
21:55 Then he go to Mexico to try and get into Cuba
21:57 and he says he doesn't like Cuba.
22:00 He no like anyone except he like to live
22:03 on the moon. I thought it was,
22:07 what a person mistake outlook on life what
22:12 a terrible perspective. Lastly, there are
22:17 some very part of the things that we can
22:19 do to encourage contentment. It's been
22:22 said that contentment consists not in
22:26 adding more fuel, but in taking away
22:28 some of the fire. In my Google search
22:32 that I've mentioned little earlier, a lady
22:34 who had learned the hard way to get out
22:36 of a monstrous death shared these
22:39 thoughts on contentment. She points out
22:43 that many things in life are designed
22:47 specifically to create this contentment.
22:49 And she mentions mail or the catalogues
22:51 and shopping malls, television ads and
22:55 shopping channels these do a good job to
23:00 make you feel happy with what you
23:02 have, what you wear, what's in your
23:06 garage, I mean, what you drive, what
23:09 you look like that's the purpose to make
23:14 us unhappy. A lesson that I learned
23:17 rarely in life is not the test drive a new
23:21 car while your present car is still doing
23:23 its job. The aroma of a new car is
23:26 intoxicating, the conveniences,
23:31 the gadgets and devices have been
23:33 overwhelming appeal. The scenario can
23:37 be repeated with nearly everything
23:40 we have, whether be in the office,
23:43 at home, in the closet or things
23:46 we have in the garage.
23:51 You and I can't really control what comes
23:55 to us through the media. But we can determine
23:59 what we allow to enter and occupy our mind.
24:06 We need to God the avenues to the soul.
24:10 We can avoid being enticed by the way the world
24:14 thinks. And refuse to be addicted by
24:18 what the world has to offer. I think so
24:23 many times that in our Hi-Tech world
24:26 we are bomb bombarded everyday with
24:28 things that we can have, a things that we
24:31 can do and I believe that even though the
24:34 Hi-Tech world has many advantages as
24:38 I've mentioned earlier the disadvantages
24:41 that it makes us so aware of what's out
24:44 there, we can go shopping, we can do all
24:48 those things just by looking at the screen
24:52 and so we need to be careful what we
24:55 focus on unless we began to covered
24:57 unnecessarily. The first person to be
25:01 discontent was Lucifer. He was the
25:06 brightest, the most beautiful, he at the
25:10 highest procession of all created beings,
25:15 yet he chose to covet. He wanted more
25:20 power, he wanted more attention, he
25:24 wanted more praise, he wanted to be on
25:27 the top, and as we examine Lucifer
25:32 experience. We began to see that this
25:37 discontentment led him to rebel his
25:41 thoughts. Sinful ambition and a
25:46 complaining attitude. The next example
25:52 of contentment or discontentment was
25:56 Adam and Eve. They too had an ideal
26:00 environment, they had everything one
26:05 could ask for. And then the Garden of
26:07 Eden was the best place to start out life,
26:11 but yet they too wanted more. This kind
26:17 of attitude resulted in distrusting Gods
26:21 love. They began to suspect Gods
26:27 liberality. And they began to question,
26:30 Gods goodness. All because they began
26:36 to become discontent.
26:40 Unnecessary discontentment led them
26:42 to turn their back on the one who had
26:45 given them everything, to listen to
26:50 someone who had given them nothing.
26:56 I am reminded again of Paul's wonderful
26:59 advice. Rejoice always because the
27:04 alternative, the option is to resent or to
27:08 covet or to began to be unsatisfied with
27:11 what God has provided. He tells us that
27:14 we should be of good cheer.
27:17 Right away, right now because he is a God,
27:20 who not only can determine the
27:23 outcome. He already knows the
27:27 outcome. God promises to us that he will
27:33 workout everything for our good.
27:36 And I believe that as we mature in our
27:39 Christian life we began to see evidence
27:41 of that. So sit back, take a deep breath,
27:47 and tell God once again, I have learned
27:50 in whatever state I am to be content.