“That soul that is capable of God can be filled with nothing else but God.”
Our spiritual help this week comes from the work, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646). It was published in 1648 two years after his death. Jeremiah Burroughs was a pastor. He served the Stepney and Cripplegate Congregations in London. He shared pastoral duties with William Greenhill (who authored a commentary on Ezekiel). Burroughs would normally preach at 7 AM and was called the ‘morning-star’ of Stepney. This nickname had nothing to do with celebrity or popularity. Pastors were often called ‘stars’ and ‘angels’ because they were to shine the gospel brightly and were to be representatives and intercessors for their respective congregations.
The following list of helps is drawn from Burrough’s The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. In this work, he offers the following definition of contentment: “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to, and taking complacency in [pleasure in], God’s wise and fatherly dispose [arrangement] in every condition.” [p. 12] Meditate this week on the following list and note how God increases your contentment:
1. Consider the abundance and greatness of the mercies of God that he bestows on you daily.
2. Your sufferings are short-lived. Eternity looms and with it the end of all things contrary to contentment.
3. Don’t take on more of the business of the world than God calls you to.
4. Control your expectations and thoughts. High grasping leads to low living.
5. Labor to learn mortification.
6. Interpret God’s providences toward you favorably.
7. Be not inordinately taken up with the comforts of this world when you have them. [Burroughs, Rare Jewel, 207-226.]
Finally, to bring your meditation to maturation, seek out another believer and engage him or her in conference. Describe to them which of the seven helps was most beneficial. Ask them if this week saw a noticeable increase in their experience of Christian contentment. Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.
Your servant in all faithfulness, but in much weakness,