Even saying the word “contentment” makes me feel more at ease!
So I want to think about contentment this month, and in particular “Christian contentment” - contentment with a capital C.
Here is what Jeremiah Burrows thought about Christian contentment over 300 years ago:
"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and Fatherly disposal in every condition."
I reckon that is one of the best definitions of Christian Contentment we’ll see - unless you know a better one, of course!
Reading this quote also brings to mind some good memories of friends who have passed away.
An old friend of mine died of cancer a few years ago. He had been a Christian for a long time. Not the loud and proud type but a Christian with a glow inside him. He always had reached out to help others, when he could. I got to see him a few days before he passed away and he still had that glow!
Contentment has nothing to do with our circumstances, our career, our car, our clothes, our community, or even our companions.
Contentment comes from being sure in our relationship with God and trusting in His unfailing ability to provide for our every need.
This is what the apostle Paul penned about the subject…
"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11).
And he could say this after all he went through!!
Timothy passed this gem on to us… "But godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6).
We also should remember what the Lord Jesus told us -
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34, NASB).
Read today’s press or any of the myriad of personal Self Help books and there will be none of the wisdom contained in the Bible. The contentment that the world teaches is a spiraling vortex of gaining more and more possessions, or more and more ‘experiences’.
Someone once said that “worldliness is to our spiritual health as junk food is to our physical health - the more we consume, the more spiritually unhealthy we become”.
If we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will become more and more aware of the enormous disparity between worldly contentment and true Christian contentment.
Life is full of paths and twists. Some of these bring pleasure but some bring pain.
In Grove at this present time we have a couple of church members who are battling serious illness. Even after my studies looking at Christian contentment I am constantly in awe of their attitude to their condition. I see that same glow in them as in my earlier story.
In an ever-changing world it can be very difficult to be content.
We will only ever be truly content whenever we truly know the peace of God.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Do you really know this peace?
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