"I have learned to be content in all circumstances. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, it is the realization and appreciation of how much you already have.
When we examine the hard realities of Paulís life we can see that he is speaking from personal experience, sometimes he had nothing but Christ - but he realized that Christ was enough to be contented.
Perhaps no Apostle suffered as much as Paul did during his brief ministry. Even when Jesus called him into the service of the Gospel he was struck blind and told that he would have to suffer much in fulfilling his mission. But this blessed Apostle learned that by the strength of the Lord he could be content in any circumstance.
The same is true for anyone in Christ. We are promised peace in any situation and told to not be troubled by trouble
. Many Christian martyrs have experienced this, -"Humanly speaking, we know that no one likes to suffer physically. But I know that if the Lord leads me into it, He will give me the strength to survive it." (Li De Xian, Martyr)
Paul once said that to live in Christ is great but to die in Christ is even better. After a contented life of suffering Paul was beheaded in Rome. Before his execution he wrote young Timothy a comforting letter. In the letter Paul expressed his joy of knowing that he had faithfully fought the good fight, finished his course, and would soon receive his crown of righteousness.
Paraphrasing Paulís letter to the Roman Church, he said, "We continue to shout our praise even when weíre hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, weíre never left feeling short-changed. Quite the contrary, we canít round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through our life in Christ."