Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Apostle Paul did not have a number of secret superpowers at his disposal. The fact that he was shipwrecked, bitten by a viper, stoned, and subjected to many other harsh conditions, all the while escaping death, is not attributed to his superhuman abilities, but to his super sized faith in an all surpassing God.
Among the greatest of his faith-attributed strengths was the ability to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself. To be content does not, as many Christians believe, mean that you must be joyful in, or even be happy with your circumstances. To be content is to trust in the will, the plan, and the protection of God Almighty. Being content does not mean that you cannot ask God to deliver you from your situation, but it does mean that you must have faith when you ask (James 1:5-8). You must believe that, whatever the Lord’s decision is, you will trust it, and thereafter be content within it.
Paul’s ability to be content in whatever the circumstance not only proceeded from his strength in Christ Jesus, but it was also modeled after the very manner of the Lord’s prayer of deliverance prior to His crucifixion (Matthew 26:39). It is here that we also must learn to look forward to the Lord’s promise of provision and backwards to His faithful example.