For Lord’s Day, February 26, 2017
Our next installment of Jeremiah Burroughs’, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment deals with being content through affliction (which we saw from our recent Wednesday night studies with Watson’s book on the topic is the main classroom of learning contentment). Burroughs writes:
So far as your heart sinks and you are discouraged under affliction, so much you need to learn this lesson of contentment.
His point? The worse our affliction and deeper our agony, the greater we need to apply ourselves as learners of contentment, which is its own medicine. In fact,
This is quietness of spirit under an affliction … when the soul is so far able to bear an affliction as to keep quiet under it.
This call to quietness and meekness of spirit does not mean we may not lament (we must not be stoics, as Watson and Plumer guided us this Wednesday night). But in taking it to God we come to be still before God and go away calm within our storm glad to have been with God. Like we studied and sang Wednesday night in Psalm 73:21-28: Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins … Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever … But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
This all makes me think of a subtle reminder the Lord sent to me early this morning while listening to Refnet.fm preparing for the day. It was the time when they play lovely music, and the instrumental of “It is Well With My Soul” was beckoning my soul to embrace it; remembering and identifying with the writer’s personal situation behind that song, I did. And it helped and it is helping.
Let us learn contentment more when we need it more so we have more of it when we need it more in certain moments. More on that in the next installment of Burroughs’ guidance on contentment.