The Bible encourages us not to worry. It’s a bit different from ‘Don’t worry – be happy’ because the source of our contentment is in the character and sovereignty of God. But still, we need to know the calming voice of God.
Philippians 4:6 says
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ (NIV)
Proverbs 12:25 says
‘Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.’ (ESV)
As we finish our brief look into Jeremiah Burroughs excellent work, ‘The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment’ I hope you will find ‘a good word’ which will lift you out of worry and into worship.
So let’s travel back three and a half centuries and see what the prevailing Christian counsel was for troubled souls then…
On Anxiety, or ‘Fretting’
‘When you are in a ship at sea which has all its sails spread with a full gale of wind, and is swiftly sailing, can you make it stand still by running up and down in the ship?
No more can you make the providence of God alter and change its course with your vexing and fretting; it will go on with power, do what you can.
Do but understand the power and efficacy of Providence [the planned and protective care of God] and it will be a mighty means helping you to learn this lesson of contentment.’ (p.112-113)
On Learning from Life’s Tough Experiences
‘I make no question but you find it so, that your worst voyages have proved your best.’ (p.214)
How a fretting disposition can lead us into further problems
‘Contentment delivers us from an abundance of temptations. Oh, the temptations that men of discontented spirits are subject to! The Devil loves to fish in troubled waters.’ (p.126)
On the Unreasonable Nature of Discontent
‘Has God converted you, and drawn you to his Son to cast your soul upon him for all your good, and yet you are discontented for the want of some little matter in a creature comfort?’ (p.142)
On not becoming Bitter with God when things don’t go well
‘Oh, my brethren…retain good thoughts of God, take heed of judging God to be a hard master, make good interpretations of his ways, and that is a special means to help you to contentment in all one’s course.’ (p.225)
On the Goodness of God in all of Life
‘A believer…is set apart to the end that God might manifest to all eternity what his infinite power is able to do to make a creature happy.’ (p.147)
God will look to you, and see you blessed if you are in the work God calls you to. (p.217)
On not becoming Materialistic
‘Be not inordinately taken up with the comforts of this world when you have them.’ (p.226)
Should the Believer be an Overcomer or a Worrier?
‘The spirit of a Christian should be a lion-like spirit; as Jesus Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (so he is called) so we should manifest something of the lion-like spirit of Jesus Christ.’ (p.148)
Read the next post, ‘The Decline of Faith in England – PostPuritanism’
All quotations are taken from ‘The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment’, Banner of Truth edition, which you can purchase here
© 2009 Lex Loizides