“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13
I know you have all seen those E-cards that talk about how money can’t buy happiness. There are tons of them! They all say about the same thing: “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy ____, which is basically the same thing.” Fill in that blank with whatever you want, and I bet there is an E-card for it. Ice cream, cupcakes, shoes… E-cards for them all! We all know that money isn’t the key to happiness. Nor are shoes or ice cream. But what if I told you that we do know what the actual secret to happiness is, and not just eternal happiness, but happiness here on earth. You’d want to know, wouldn’t you?
Right here in Philippians, Paul shares that he has learned the secret of happiness -
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
He has actually lived through just about any and every situation at this point. He knew what it was like to be very important and special, and he knew what it was like to be considered nothing. As he writes this letter, he’s in jail, so he is sharing this ‘secret to happiness’ not when life is easy and great, but when things are very hard. And he still says that he knows how to be content in all circumstances.
You know what comes next - we read it every year on the first day of camp. Philippians 4:13 is our secret to happiness: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” God will never put you in a situation that you cannot handle. Even when things feel terrible, you can do all things through Christ! What a great reason to celebrate!
Some days it is much easier to be happy than other days. Everyone experiences that, and everyone has days that just feel rotten. When you are having a day or a moment that doesn’t feel great, remind yourself that God’s got your back! You can handle this. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will never give you more than you can bear. And you can do all things through Him! It might be tougher at first, but I bet you that you’ll start cheering up just thinking about those things. Now that is a secret to happiness!