4 more mysteries of contentment (Ch 4)

God has all_I have God_I have allIn chapter 4, Burroughs backtracks to elaborate on Mystery # 12 and # 13. Then adds two new Mysteries of Contentment, # 14 and # 15.

12. Enjoy God in all 
Simply put: God has all; I have God; so I have all.

Whatever lack that Christians may have is filled in the kingdom because “the kingdom of God is within you”  (Luke 17:21).

Burroughs explains it this way: Suppose a king goes abroad and faces trouble there. No problem—he remains content because he knows he has a kingdom of his own at home.

The same applies to us. Regardless of what may happen to us in the physical realm, we can be at peace because that kingdom is not our concern; we live in the Kingdom of God within our soul. 

Another analogy: A man has a nagging wife. She complains and moans so much that he finds any excuse he can for leaving the house.

But a man that has “a pleasant home, a good wife, and fine walks and gardens” does not care much for going out. So it is that while a carnal man is not quiet in his own spirit, a contented man “delights in looking into his own heart.” He has God within himself, and that is enough to make him happy.

13. Covenant and Promises 
Contentment comes from the covenant in general and from the promises in particular.

In general, even though life events may not go as we plan, we know that our salvation is sure, God is in control, and he pledges himself to make up all. “Sucking this sweetness from the Covenant” allows a man to endure his afflictions with contentment.

The particular promises come from the root of the great Covenant of grace in Christ. While each promise in the Bible does NOT apply specifically to our situations, we do inherit the intent and the results. We do not read the promises of God as merely stories, but with an eye toward their fulfillment (albeit not necessarily literal) in our own lives.

14. Kingdom now, Kingdom later
Even with afflictions here for a moment, we can delight that a fuller glory is ahead. “A carnal heart has no contentment but from what he sees before him in this world, but a godly heart has contentment from what he sees laid up for him in the highest heaven.”

15. Tell God about it
Those with carnal hearts have no way to relieve themselves when they are angered except through “abuse and bitter words.” But a godly man can open his heart to God, letting out his sorrows and fears with him, and walk away with a joyful countenance.

So Burroughs concludes his explanation of 15 mysteries of contentment so that we may “see fully what an art Christian contentment is.”

More from Chapter 4
Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

2 comments:

Jude St.John said...

"Kingdom now, kingdom later", "Let it morph", "Work it".

I like your short 'slogans' for remembering and summarizing the opening up of the mystery of contentment.

I also liked what you said about the promises of Scripture in terms of intent as opposed to the specificity.

Jude

Laurie M. said...

I agree,your slogans, and summings up are uncanny! I like the one from you graphic today. It pretty much says it all.

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