Some of you know that lately I've been reading Jerehiah Burroung's book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (Banner of Truth, 1964, original, 1648). Every once in a while I come across a book that makes me want plead with people to read it--this is one of those books. Please buy and carefully read this book. Believe me, it willl be worth your money and your time.
Here's how he defines contentment: "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." And to be well skilled in this "mystery of contentment" is "the duty, glory, and excellence of a Christian" (19).
He has much to say about what contentment is and how we are to pursue it, but the pinacle of his argument is that it is found in God--not in what God gives, but in God himself. Thereby he comes to this conclusion: the Christian is both the most satisfied and the most unsatisfied person in the world.
"If [a Christian person] had the quintessence of all the excellences of all the creatures in the world, it could not satisfy him; and yet this man can sing, and be merry and joyful when he has only a crust of bread and a little water in the world. Surely religion is a great mystery! Great is the mystery of godliness, not only in the doctrinal part of it, but in the practical part of it also...A little in the world will content a Christian for his passage, but all the world, and ten thousand times more, will not content a Christian for his portion...A soul that is capable of God can be filled with nothing else but God; nothing but God can fill a soul that is capable of God" (43).
Then he quotes Philippians 4:7-9 and concludes, "Here is what I would observe from the text, That the peace of God is not enough to a gracious heart except it may have the God of the peace" (44).
The Christian will not be satisfied with peace from God--he must have God! And when he does have God he has peace, because the peace of God is simply an inward fruit of authentic communion with God, in Christ.
Christian, are you feeling discontent? Anxious? Worried? Angry? Seek your contentment, your peace, your all in God! It is him that you need. All of the things of this world will never satisfy you--go after God, in Christ, with passion and intensity, with commitment and sincerity. Settle for no less than communion with God himself and your soul will find what it's longing for.