Sunday, August 22, 2010

Being Content In All Our Circumstances

“Contentment is a tranquillity of soul, a being satisfied with what God has apportioned. It is the opposite of a grasping spirit which is [often] never appeased, with distrustful anxiety, with petulant murmurings.”

~Arthur W. Pink.

Back to that same old and tired theme: contentedness. But, this is a true thing.

It’s only when we reach the position of being content in all our circumstances that we really agree that God is entirely good, and that all things work for God’s good—even, especially even, those things we don’t like happening to us.

And this invites the following break-through thought:

Only with a past that’s dealt-with can we look forward to a future free of the past – that state of contentment heading forward.

Can it just be that our contentment might be ‘hooked’ to and contingent on our pasts to a great extent?

Looking to God

There are several things that bear avid consideration regarding contentedness; an avenue only sustainably available in God:

  1. The realisation of God’s goodness, always. God cares for each one of us continually, ecstatically, unconditionally. Think of everything we need simply to live—God’s supporting of life; the list is endless, literally.
  2. The realisation of God’s omniscience. Nothing is beyond the wisdom and being of God. This wisdom is unsearchable and unchangeable. “Remember that complaining never relieves a single woe or lightens a single burden; it is therefore most irrational.”
  3. The realisation of God’s supremacy. Following from the foregoing, God’s will is to be done. It is the nature of life that this is so. Contentedness rests in this.
  4. The realisation of our ill-deserts. We’re triumphantly orphaned without God in this world. Living cognisant of our unworthiness without God, hence, is a very healthy and motivating thing regarding our practical contentedness. Without the work of the cross we deserve nothing from God’s sight of things. It’s Christ’s cross that gives us our fundamental and unconditional worthiness.
  5. The contingency of our being weaned from the world. “The more dead we are to the things of time and sense, the less our hearts will crave them, and the smaller will be our disappointment when we do not have them.”
  6. Contentedness is fellowship with God. It is to agree with God wholeheartedly; to be content with what we have right now.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Reference: all quotations and the six-fold structure are pulled from, Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2004), pp. 1144-52.

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