Monday, July 4, 2011

Contentment: A Sweet Inward Heart-thing

I'm slowly making my way through "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment" by Jeremiah Burroughs.  This evening I was flipping back through the chapters to re-read some portions that really spoke to me.  This book was initially published in 1648, but it contains wonderful truths regarding contentment that I am attempting to learn and apply.

Psalm 62:5 says "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." (KJV)  Jeremiah notes that this could more correctly be translated "My soul, be thou silent unto God. Hold thy peace, Oh my soul."  He comments that: "Many may sit silently, refraining from discontented expressions, yet inwardly they are bursting with discontent.  This shows a complicated disorder and great perversity in their hearts.  And notwithstanding their outward silence, God hears the peevish fretful language of their souls.  A shoe may be smooth and neat outside, while inside it pinches the flesh.  Outwardly there may be great calmness and stillness, yet within amazing confusion, bitterness, disturbance and vexation."  (pg. 20)  

The words may be in the old English vernacular of bygone years, but the message is clear and convicting.  Contentment  is a sweet inward heart-thing.    It's source must be a godly heart that submits to God's sovereign will.  Burrough's apt definition of contentment is this: "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." 

True contentment is not dependent on outward circumstances.  So am I genuinely content or quietly seething inside with that "fretful language of the soul"?

Today I'm joining


  1. Ah, I can look really good on the outside while seething on the inside. It takes a commitment to emotional honesty in myself and then as you say trusting God with my feelings.

    Great post.


  2. I think this is one of the hardest things -- to truly be content and satisfied even when the storms rage. I definitely need God's grace for this!

  3. Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

  4. Great post! There's a world of difference in acting vs being content. I'll have to remember this book by Burroughs. Blessings!


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