Contentment is quite an elusive commodity, but it’s something we’re called to cultivate in our lives as Christians. In his excellent book called The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs provides a helpful definition. He says, “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” I think this definition gives us a better idea of what we’re aiming at when we try to cultivate contentment. It’s a calmness that settles deep into our hearts, and it springs from a firm belief that God knows best and has our best interests in mind when He gives and when He takes away. Contentment traces the gifts back to the Giver and declares with Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Do you truly believe you can trust God with your health, your job, your relationships, and everything else He’s given you? Take some time this week to thoughtfully consider whether He has ever failed you, even when His mysterious providence has been far from what you expected. God is faithful, and when you put your trust in Him, the seed of contentment is sown, and you will soon begin to see its fruit. May the Holy Spirit cultivate contentment in your heart, and may the calmness that follows show the kindness and mercy of Jesus to the watching world!