It’s time to get back into blogging, through the Puritans and the like…and whatever else I find to be spiritually edifying. It’s been about two years since I’ve blogged here faithfully. And, Lord willing I’ll get back into it now. I have truly missed being here!
Over the past couple of years, our family has had to endure some trials and by the grace and mercy of God, He has brought us through them with a tenderness that has been very sweet. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) has been a treasure trove in the midst of afflictions and has been a means that the Lord has used for our encouragement that He is Lord over our lives…and over our afflictions. This book is a 200 plus page exposition on Philippians 4:11, ‘I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content’
“Contentment is taking pleasure in God’s disposal”
This is a terribly offensive statement to the humanistic ego, and I would say that the most powerful word in the above statement is the word “in“. A few sentences after Burroughs says this, he lays waste to having only a reminiscent view of the good that the afflictionwas for us. He argues that we should find contentment in the midst of the affliction, because it is God who has ordered it.
Here’s Burroughs in his own words:
To acknowledge that it is just that I am afflicted is possible in one who is not truly contented. I may be convinced that God deals justly in this matter, he is righteous and just and it is right that I should submit to what he has done; O the Lord has done righteously in all ways! But that is not enough! You must say, ‘Good is the hand of the Lord.’ It was the expression of old Eli, ‘Good is the word of the Lord’, when it was a sore and hard word. It was a word that threatened very grievous things to Eli and his house, and yet Eli says, ‘Good is the word of the Lord.’
Perhaps some of you may say, like David, ‘It is good that I was afflicted’, but you must come to this, ‘It is good that I am afflicted.’ Not just good when you see the good fruit it has wrought, but to say when you are afflicted, ‘It is good that I am afflicted. Whatever the affliction, yet through the mercy of God mine is a good condition.’ It is, indeed, the top and the height of this art of contentment to come to this pitch and to be able to say, ‘Well, my condition and afflictions are so and so, and very grievous and sore; yet, through God’s mercy, I am in a good condition, and the hand of God is good upon me notwithstanding.’
~Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment; Banner of Truth Trust; page 34