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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Contentment

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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Some various out takes based on;

[i]‘I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’[/i]
Philippians 4:11


Resign your soul to the will of God and your contentment will be sweet, constant, the burdens and afflictions light even while all the world is coming apart at the seams. The ability to show forth of a truth, that God is in you, to His great glory is bound up in this returning ever again to that unceasing, inward prayer at all times in all circumstance. The well of well pleasing is the comfort of the Holy Spirit, when the spirit of a saint listens and returns by humble, willful, loving abandonment to His voice. - [i]MB[/i]

[i]Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.[/i] Joh 14:27


by Jeremiah Burroughs

These words are brought in by Paul as a clear argument to persuade the
Philippians that he did not seek after great things in the world, and that he
sought not ‘theirs’ but ‘them’. He did not long for great wealth. His heart
was taken up with better things. ‘I do not speak’, he says, ‘in respect of
want, for whether I have or have not, my heart is fully satisfied, I have
enough: I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’

[i][b]‘I have learned’[/b][/i]-Contentment in every condition is a great art, a spiritual
mystery. It is to be learned, and to be learned as a mystery. And so in verse
12 he affirms: ‘I know how to be abased, and I now how to abound:
everywhere and in all things I am instructed.’ The word which is translated
‘instructed’ is derived from the word that signifies ‘mystery’; it is just as if
he had said, ‘I have learned the mystery of this business.’ Contentment is to
be learned as a great mystery, and those who are thoroughly trained in this
art, which is like Samson’s riddle to a natural man, have learned a deep
mystery. ‘I have learned it’-I do not have to learn it now, nor did I have the
art at first; I have attained it, though with much ado, and now, by the grace
of God, I have become the master of this art.

[i][b]‘In whatsoever state I am’[/b][/i]-The word ‘estate’ is not in the original, but
simply ‘in what I am’, that is, in whatever concerns or befalls me, whether
I have little or nothing at all.

[b][i]‘Therewith to be content’[/i][/b]-The word rendered ‘content’ here has great
elegance and fullness of meaning in the original. In the strict sense it is only
attributed to God, who has styled himself ‘God all-sufficient’, in that he
rests fully satisfied in and with himself alone. But he is pleased freely to
communicate his fullness to the creature, so that from God in Christ the
saints receive ‘grace for grace’ (John 1:16). As a result, there is in them
the same grace that is in Christ, according to their measure. In this sense,
Paul says, I have a self-sufficiency, which is what the word means.

But has Paul got a self-sufficiency? you will say. How are we sufficient of
ourselves! Our Apostle affirms in another case,

[i]‘That we are not sufficient of ourselves
to think anything as of ourselves’[/i] (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Therefore his meaning must be, I find a sufficiency of satisfaction in my
own heart, through the grace of Christ that is in me. Though I have not
outward comforts and worldly conveniences to supply my necessities, yet I
have a sufficient portion between Christ and my soul abundantly to satisfy
me in every condition. This interpretation agrees with that place: ‘A good
man is satisfied from himself’ (Proverbs 14:14) and also with what Paul
avers of himself in another place, that ‘though he had nothing yet he
possessed all things’. Because he had a right to the covenant and promise,
which virtually contains everything, and an interest in Christ, the fountain
and good of all, it is no marvel that he said that in whatsoever state he was
in, he was content.

Thus you have the true interpretation of the text. I shall not make any
division of the words, because I take them only to promote the one most
necessary duty, viz. quieting and comforting the hearts of God’s people
under the troubles and changes they meet with in these heart-shaking times.
The doctrinal conclusion briefly is this: That to be well skilled in the
mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory and excellence of a

Mike Balog

 2006/7/2 11:06Profile

Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524

 Re: Contentment

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
Jeremiah Burroughs (lst published in 1648)

Mike, I'm very glad that you introduced Mr.Burroughs' teaching on this very important topic.

This is probably the smallest yet most helpful book I found and most worth reading, filled with godly wisdom and practical guidelines. I read it 16 years ago, and I still pull it off the bookshelf from time to time.

It opened my eyes further when he said something to the effect that contentment is learned by ways of reduction from worldly pursuits rather than by addition to worldly comfort. ( I still use this to admonish my grown children with this concept.)

In the days of living in a hyper-materialistic culture, he really has some practical and godly wisdom in expanding on this precious gem called contentment.


 2006/7/2 11:50Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: On contenment

Hi mamaluk,

Think I will enter the whole of it into the article section for others to peruse at their leisure. Came across it interestingly enough this morning digging through some old programs looking for something else, it grabbed hold because this is something that the Lord has also been laying hold of in recent days. So many ebbs and flows in this walk and the snare of even the spiritual life can be one of ... anxiety, the Lord had much to say on this matter.

I don't know brother, there has just been something of a sweet reasonableness in surreneduring to the Holy Spirit that has become different in notice... It seems it is in the speed of return to Him when all sorts of difficulties or hostilities arise, as if He awaits that quick forsaking of so called 'rights' when they do arise and that split second thought of "Your will, Lord" comes. It is very much;

[i]But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.[/i] Jam 3:17,18

This is probably the smallest yet most helpful book I found and most worth reading, filled with godly wisdom and practical guidelines. I read it 16 years ago, and I still pull it off the bookshelf from time to time.

How wonderful, my, 16 years ago! The precious longevity of the saints :-) Loved the way he skirt's nothing by way of trouble while still rumerating on being [i]content[/i], it reminded me of the line from Leonard Ravenhill about Paul;

[i] "I think that experience he had is typical of the end of the age. Paul got on board that ship as a prisoner and he ended as the pilot. Everybody got the jitters. Everybody was terrified. Everybody was vomiting and yelling and screaming, and there Paul is: glorifying God!

Do you see what strange people Christians are? You know he was so amazing that when they skinned his back until it was raw, he said, "None of these things hurt me." Did he? No he didn’t. You know, people say that if you get saved and filled with the spirit, you’ll never be hurt, you’ll never have any troubles... Well I must be backslidden, because I get a lot of them! Paul did not say none of these things [u]hurt[/u] me, he said none of these things [u]move me[/u].[/i]" ~ Leonard Ravenhill

Mike Balog

 2006/7/2 13:02Profile

Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524


1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

According to Burroughs, contentment is gained by deduction of worldliness, not by addition to worldiness.

Let me add thus, happiness and discontentment are mutually exclusive. When contentment governs our flesh, covetousness and pride vanishe.

I think I'll re-read this book tonight.

Thanks again, Mike

 2006/7/2 14:49Profile

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