Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment: Chapter One
I don't often bring my theology straightforwardly to my blog, but I'm reading this amazing work by Jeremiah Burroughs from 1648, and I thought it would be helpful for me to consolidate my notes from my journal to my blog. If it is of benefit to anyone else, I am thankful. I know many in the children's lit industry are not of this persuasion, so maybe you will pass this by. And that is okay.
Contentment is a blessed thing, and I seek it. So here is Chapter 1, largely in the paraphrased words of Burroughs.
"I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11
Contentment is a great art, a spiritual mystery, and it is to be learned. In a sense, it is only attributed to God who shares it in Christ according to each person's measure. It is to be able to say: I have a right to the covenant and an interest in Christ, therefore I am content.
Contentment is the sweet, inward, quiet, gracious, frame of spirit which freely submits to and delights in God's wise disposal in every condition.
1. You will still sense affliction.
2. You may in a submissive way complain to God.
3. You may grieve.
4. You may communicate the sad condition to your friends.
5. You may use lawful means to seek relief from the circumstances.
6. You will still exhibit quick and lively service to God
7. You will be active in sanctifying God's name in the affliction,
8. You will readily come to peace.
9. You will willingly, and freely submit, knowing the affliction is good because the hand of God is good.
10. You will look up to God, not at the means of the affliction.
11. You will submit no matter the affliction, no matter how long it lasts, or how many instances arrive.
Contentment is not:
1. a murmuring and repining
2. a vexing and fretting
3. a tumultuous spirit which can't think, act, or complete duties
4. a consuming distraction from Christ
5. a sinking discouragement
6. a welcoming of sinful shirks and shifts to find relief
7. a natural quietness of personality
8. a sturdy resolution
9. a natural reasoning
Contentment is to be satisfied in your judgment, the will submitting, and the thoughts and affections in order. It is a good mood, a constant temper of quietness. It is to be able to say: "Through God's mercy, mine is a good condition, despite being grievous and sore."
"Godliness creates an even disposition." Tom Lyon