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Studying Contentment

In his ebook The Artwork of Divine Contentment, Thomas Watson described 5 traits of a contented coronary heart.1 With our course marked out for studying contentment, lets take into consideration how we would consider the place we’re in our personal private progress.

A Contented Spirit Is a Silent Spirit

The one who’s content material will not be complaining towards God; he doesn’t grumble and murmur. Watson observes:


When Samuel tells Eli that heavy message from God, that he would choose his home, and that the iniquity of his household shouldn’t be purged away with sacrifice eternally, (1 Sam. 3:1314) doth Eli murmur or dispute? No, he hath not one phrase to say towards God: it’s the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. Then again, Pharaoh, one who didn’t know God and subsequently was discontent stated, who’s the Lord? why ought to I endure all this? why ought to I be introduced into this low situation? who’s the Lord?

Erik Raymond

On this immensely sensible and inspiring ebook, Erik Raymond establishes what contentment is and learn how to study it, educating us to belief within the God who retains his guarantees fairly than our altering circumstances.

Keep in mind properly the excellence between complaining to God and complaining about God. Once we complain to God, we’re bringing our issues and vices and crying out to God for knowledge, grace, and assist. Once we are complaining about God, we’re attacking his character. That is ungodliness at its core. When Aarons sons have been judged and killed, he held his peace (Lev. 10:3). He was silent. Nevertheless, when Jonah was grumbling earlier than God, God requested him, Do you do properly to be offended? (Jonah 4:4). The distinction is evident. Silence is a mirrored image of peaceable trusteven amid circumstances which are obscure. Anger, grumbling, and complaining characterize inside turmoil and a scarcity of belief in God.

How would others describe you? Are you apt to talk out and provides vent to your frustrations with others and God? Or are you inclined to carry your peace and see the Lord within the state of affairs?

A Contented Spirit Is a Cheerful Spirit

Contentment is greater than endurance (although it isn’t much less). It entails a cheerfulness of the soul. Watson says, A contented Christian is greater than passive; he doth not solely bear the cross, however take up the cross. This is the reason Paul could be sorrowful but all the time rejoicing (2 Cor. 6:10). He could be content material in his sufferings even when they’re so troublesome (2 Cor. 12:10). He doesnt simply say, The need of the Lord be finished; he says, Rejoice within the Lord all the time; once more I’ll say, rejoice (Phil. 4:4). Watson rightly quips, God loveth a cheerful giver . . . and God loves a cheerful liver. Once we are content material with our lot in Christ, we’ve got the bottom of cheerfulness inside us.

We supply our pardon sealed in our very hearts. Might you be accused of being cheerful, even amid issue?

A Contented Spirit Is a Grateful Spirit

Scripture reminds us to offer thanks in the whole lot (1 Thess. 5:18). Once we are content material, we spy mercy in each situation and have our hearts laminated with thanksgiving. Anybody can thank God for prosperity, however the contented individual blesses him when bothered (2 Cor. 6:10; Phil. 4:911). The discontented coronary heart is ever complaining of its present situation, however the contented spirit is all the time thanking God for it. Watson says, A contented coronary heart is a temple the place the praises of God are sung forth, not a sepulcher whereby they’re buried. Even whereas encountering a season of intense issue, the contented individual could stillbecause contentment is a piece of grace from the within outhave his or her coronary heart dilated in thankfulness. There’s all the time gratulatory music in a contented soul; the Spirit of grace works within the coronary heart like new wine, which beneath the heaviest pressures of sorrow may have a vent open for thankfulness: that is to be content material. Are you characteristically grateful?

A Contented Spirit Is Not Certain by Circumstances

As a result of contentment works from the within out, it’s shielded from the ever-changing circumstances exterior us. Keep in mind, Paul himself stated that his contentment was seen in any and each circumstance (Phil. 4:12). Do you end up content material when issues are going properly however struggling when the winds are opposite?

Once we are content material, we spy mercy in each situation and have our hearts laminated with thanksgiving.

A Contented Spirit Will Not Keep away from Hassle by Technique of Sin

Resting in Gods windfall doesn’t imply that we stand nonetheless. Contentment doesn’t imply complacency. Nevertheless, when there’s something we must always pursue, however Gods timing has not but made it obtainable, a contented spirit doesn’t rush forward anyway. The discontented won’t wait. Watson explains that if God doesn’t open the door of his windfall, they’ll break it open and wind themselves out of affliction by sin; bringing their souls into bother; that is removed from holy contentment, that is unbelief damaged into insurrection. Contentment would fairly wait upon God than sin towards God. A contented Christian is keen to attend Gods leisure, and won’t stir until God open a door. The spirit of contentment says, I might fairly keep in jail than buy liberty by sinning towards God. Watson punctuates this level properly:

A contented Christian won’t take away, until because the Israelites he sees a pillar of cloud and hearth going earlier than him. It’s good {that a} man ought to each hope, and quietly look ahead to the salvation of the Lord. (Lam. 3:26) It’s good to remain Gods leisure and to not extricate ourselves out of bother, until we see the star of Gods windfall stating a option to us.

Notes:

  1. Thomas Watson, The Artwork of Divine Contentment: An Exposition of Philippians 4:11, chap. 13, accessed April 1, 2016, http://www.biblebb.com/files/TW/tw-contentment.htm. Subsequent quotations from Watson are additionally drawn from chap. 13.


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