This devotional will annoy some, convict others, and hopefully challenge us to assess whether we are content.
A remedy against all our troubles!
(Thomas Watson, “The Art of Divine Contentment”)
“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content–whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Philippians 4:11-12
Contentment sweetens every condition.
Christ turned the water into wine. Just so, contentment turns the bitter waters of Marah, into spiritual wine.
Contentment is a flower which does not grow in every garden.
You would think it were excellent, if I could prescribe a remedy or antidote against poverty. Behold, here is that which is more excellent–for a man to be poor, and yet have enough! Contentment teaches a man how to abound–in the midst of poverty!
Have I but little? Yet it is more than I deserve.
Do I meet with some crosses? My comfort is, if they are heavy–I have not far to go!
My cross is light–in comparison with the weight of glory.
Has God taken away my comforts from me? It is well–the Comforter still abides with me.
Thus contentment, as a honeycomb, drops sweetness into every condition.
Discontent is a leaven which sours every comfort; it puts vinegar into every mercy; it doubles every cross. But the contented spirit sucks sweetness from every flower of providence. Contentment is full of consolation.
Contentment is . . .
a remedy against all our troubles,
an alleviation to all our burdens,
the cure of to every worry.
As medicine works disease out of the body–so contentment works trouble out of the heart. Holy contentment keeps the heart from fainting. Contentment is the golden shield, which beats back all discouragements.
Contentment, though it is not properly a grace (it is rather, a disposition of mind,) yet in it there is a happy mixture of all the graces. Contentment is a most precious compound! The ingredients put into it are faith, patience, meekness, humility, etc.
Wicked men are often disquieted in the enjoyment of all things.
But the contented Christian is joyful in the lack of all things! He may have little in the world–yet be perfectly content.
O the rare art or rather–miracle of contentment!
A Christian finds contentment distilled out of the breasts of the promises. He is poor in purse–but rich in promise. There is one promise which brings much sweet contentment into the soul: “Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10) If the thing we desire is good for us–we shall have it. If it is not good–then the not having is good for us. The resting satisfied with the promise, gives contentment.
We all need to go to God and seek Him on this issue. Are we content in our lives? What is God trying to teach us in our current circumstances? Can we totally trust Him going forward?
Questions only you and God can answer.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001