Monday, November 26, 2012
Rare Jewel: Chapters Five and Six
Notes from Chapters 5 and 6
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
Christ Teaches Contentment
1. He teaches it through self denial.
a. We are nothing in ourselves.
b. We deserve nothing.
c. We can do nothing.
d. We cannot, of ourselves, even receive good.
e. We can make no use of what we have if God withdraws from us.
f. We are worse than nothing.
g. If we perish, it will be no loss. God can raise another to serve.
h. The soul comes to rejoice and take satisfaction in all of God's ways, even those which don't suit our own ends.
A discontented heart is troubled because he has no more comfort, but a self-denying man rather wonders that he has as much as he has.
2. He teaches it through the knowledge that all things of the world are vanity. There is nothing which will feed our hearts.
3. He teaches it through the fear of eternity. Earthly concerns seem to have no consequence in comparison.
4. He teaches we are pilgrims on earth; our momentary stay needs little comfort.
5. He teaches the good we do have is from God's hand; it can draw us closer to God, and it can cause us to be of better service.
6. He teaches us to examine our own hearts.
a. We'll find the root of our discontent.
b. In the affliction, we'll know it is suited for us, particularly.
c. We'll be content knowing what we can manage, and that this condition is perfect for us.
7. He teaches that the prosperous condition is a burden.
a. There is a burden of trouble.
b. There is a burden of danger.
c. There is a burden of duty.
d. There is the burden to give account to God.
8. He teaches it is a great evil to be given up to the heart's desires. Better a plague than a hard heart.
9. He teaches the right knowledge of God's providence.
a. God's providence has universality. Nothing is outside of it.
b. God's providence is not altered by us, even our loudest rantings.
c. All the infinite varieties of providence work in an orderly way.
d. He makes us familiar with God's ways of working.
* God's ordinary course is that his people in this world will be afflicted.
* Often when God intends the greatest mercy, he brings a person into the lowest condition.
i.e. Joseph in prison, David hunted, Christ crucified.
* God will often use evil for his good.