Philippians 4:12, 13
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry…
1. Contentment needs to be cultivated, not only when we possess little, but likewise when we possess much. It may be thought that to be contented with plenty is an easy task. But this is not so. It is often easier to know how to be abased than to know how to abound. We may be in greater danger when our prayers are answered than when the answer is withheld.
2. St. Paul, having learned many things, can teach us many things. Not only does he know theoretically how difficult it is to abound, but he knows it experimentally, and experimentally he has overcome the difficulty. He has been initiated in the experience of both need and abundance, and has known how to bear either tot with safety.
3. This he had been able to do, not through any Stoical superiority to the things of this life, nor yet through any force of natural character, but in the power in which his whole life was now being lived, the strength given by union with Jesus Christ. - V.W.H.
Parallel VersesKJV: I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.