More on why Paul is not the hero of Acts 16 … or any other passage of scripture.
4) This didn’t come naturally to Paul, even he had to learn it. Ever wonder what Philippians 4:13 is about? It has nothing to do with being the best you can be at sports. Paul had just finished his “thank you note” portion of the book for a gift they sent him. Then he said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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 (Philippians 4:11-12 ESV).”
So Paul isn’t talking about anything selfish. He’s saying that he is just as happy going hungry as he is at a party. He wasn’t born that way, he said twice that he had to learn it. How did he learn it? It wasn’t because he was amazing. He learned it through the strength that Christ gave him. Everyone who wants to follow God has to learn how – that’s one of the reasons He gave us a book. We all have to learn to be ok with whatever situation we’re in. Nobody is born naturally spiritual or inclined to follow Jesus. J.I. Packer said, “once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.”* The more we see His faithfulness … the more we’re able to learn to be fine with whatever happens.
*J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 34.