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March 14, 2011

come what may: contentment

The following definitions of "contentment" have blessed my soul in the past months.
From Jeremiah Burroughs in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment:
Contentment is "that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal of every condition."
From Arthur Pink:
"Contentment, then, is the product of a heart resting in God. It is the soul's enjoyment of that peace that passes all understanding. It is the outcome of my will being brought into subjection to the Divine will. It is the blessed assurance that God does all things well, and is, even now, making all things work together for my ultimate good."
From Martyn-Lloyd Jones:
"Man's happiness was never meant to be determined by his circumstances, and that is the fatal blunder that we all tend to make... Man's happiness depends on one thing onlyand that is his relationship to God! ...We cannot get it anywhere else. We must come back to the soul and to God who made it. We were made for him, we are meant for him, we have a  correspondence with him, and we will never come to rest until, like that needle on the compass, we strike that northern point, and there we come to rest—nowhere else." 
I could likely read these words daily and be instructed every time. Barbara Mouser writes that from God's point of view, "the height of femininity" is a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4). Gentle: that is, meek, under authority, not rebellious or contentious. Quiet: that is, full of faith, not troubled, upset or fearful. In a word, the woman of God is content. Resting. Gracious. Quiet. Sweet. Her soul is anchored in Christ (Heb. 6:19) amid the storms of life. She is content because her joy depends on the Lord, and on Him only. Is my heart a restful and orderly place, a gentle and quiet corner that reflects contentment in Christ?

(Contentment quotes found in Holding Hands, Holding Hearts by R. & S. Phillips)


  1. Here are some other good quotes:
    Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
    1Tim 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
    Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
    This is so hard to learn and to apply.

  2. Hi J, thanks for sharing these quotes. It is so true, that "contentment is the product of a heart resting in God."

    Learning contentment has been such a huge theme for me over the past few years, specifically in the context of being single and struggling with the balance of desiring marriage yet being content in my current circumstances.

    Over the last four months of being in a relationship (and now being engaged!) it has been interesting for me to see the truth of the portion I quoted above in this new context. Yes, I am overjoyed at what God has brought into my life, but the deep down contentment (or lack of) has not changed. I still need to constantly be at work in finding my rest in God, and asking for His grace to do so.

    He is so good, and so entirely sufficient in every season of life.

  3. Contentment is always a timely topic, at any stage.

    Mom, thanks for the related Scripture!

    Steph, it has been fun to watch you go from singleness to engagement & I know the Lord will bless as you keep your heart resting in Him and not in man. And...He will use you to bless your man as you help and encourage him with a gentle and quiet (contented) spirit!

    I would like to get a copy of Jeremiah Burroughs' "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment."