The book of the month in our church bookstore is Jeremiah Burroughs’ work, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.
I first read this book several years ago over the period of several months in my devotional time. It was a blessing and challenge to be exhorted towards contentment every morning for those 10-12 weeks.
As I thought about how to introduce the book to the congregation, I came across passage after passage that I thought, “Oh! I need to read that one to let them know how good this book is!”
Here then are five of those gems:
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. [p. 19]
…if a man is to be free from discontent and worry it is not enough merely not to murmur but you must be active in sanctifying God’s name in the affliction.…I say, the desire and care your soul has to sanctify God’s name in an affliction is what quietens the soul, and this is what other [attempts toward quietness] lack. [pp. 30-31]
It is the way of God to work by contraries, to turn the greatest evil into the greatest good. To grant great good after great evil is one thing, and to turn great evil into the greatest good is another, and yet that is God’s way: the greatest good that God intends for his people, he many times works out of the greatest evil, the greatest light is brought out of the greatest darkness.…It is the way of God to bring all good out of evil, not only to overcome the evil, but to make the evil work toward the good. Now when the soul comes to understand this, it will take away our murmuring and bring contentment into our spirits. [p. 117]
Men and women, who are discontented, though they enjoy many mercies from God, yet they are thankful for none of them, for this is the vile nature of discontent, to lessen every mercy of God. It makes those mercies they have from God seem as nothing to them, because they cannot have what they want.…The graces of God’s Spirit are nothing to a discontented heart who cannot have all that he would have. [pp. 154-155.]
Perhaps God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence upon him, and not to know what your condition shall be on the morrow, than for you to have a more settled condition in terms of the comforts of the creature. Do but remember what we spoke of before, that Christ does not teach you to pray, ‘Lord give me enough to serve me for two or three years,’ but, ‘This day give us our daily bread.’ This is to teach us that we must live upon God in a dependent condition every day for daily bread.…Oh, many times it falls out that the worse your outward estate is the better your soul is, and the better your outward estate is the worse your soul is. [pp. 199-200]
Buy and read this book.