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10 ways to contentment (Ch 12)

In this next to last chapter of The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, author Jeremiah Burroughs lays out ten considerations for contenting the heart in any trouble.

1. Understand the good outweighs the bad
Weigh the greatness of the blessings you do have against the small amount of things you lack. God’s mercies far exceed your deficiencies.

2. Recall past blessings
Remember all the good things God has given you in the past, even if you lack some of them now. a_drop_in_the_bucket

3. Reflect on present blessings
Consider all the abundant mercies that you are enjoying right now. “Name any affliction that is upon you: there is a sea of mercy to swallow it up.” Your afflictions are but a drop in the bucket of God’s ocean of mercies.

4. This is a season
God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good. We have seasons of prosperity; we have seasons of afflictions.

5. Others suffer for you
If creatures suffer for us, how much more should we be willing to suffer for God’s service?

The brute beasts must die, be roasted in the fire, boiled, come on to the plate, be hacked all in pieces, chewed in the mouth…all to nourish me, to be useful to my body, and shall not I be willing to be made anything for God, for his service?

6. Time is short
It will all be over soon. Your time here is short compared to eternity. Even if your troubles don’t end in this lifetime, they will end for you upon your death.

7. Look at examples
Consider the conditions that others have been in, both above and below you. Joseph suffered years as a slave and prisoner; Elijah was fed with ravens; Jeremiah was put into a dungeon. Visit the poor and the sick to stir up thankfulness in your heart towards God.

8. Be content with grace
If worldly men can find a kind of contentment even without Christ, how much more should you be content with grace and all spiritual blessings?

9. Learn from past mistakes
Remember times past when you were given what you wanted, but you didn’t give God the glory for it. Let that quiet your discontented thoughts now.

10. All things work for good
Recall how certain afflictions in your past turned into great blessings in the end. Sometimes it is better to be in a little ship in a storm than in a great ship that cannot maneuver quickly and may be split against the rocks. Perhaps God is saving you by placing you in a smaller vessel because he sees a storm coming ahead. His vision is long-term.

Next week: Chapter 13, “How to Attain Contentment – concluded

More from Chapter 12
How to Attain Contentment
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment


Anonymous said...

This is a great list Lisa....I truly believe so many of these things and practice them in my life....and I am generally a pretty content person! :) Wow that was nice confirmation for me.:)

Laurie M. said...

Great synopsis! Thanks again for condensing it all so perfectly.

Lisa notes... said...

Sandy - Glad you found confirmation in the list. You're probably a very pleasant person to be around!

Laurie - I'll be sad when the book is over. It's been a great study for me.


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