Ten Reasons for Contentment

Here are ten reasons why we should find contentment, found from the matchless works on the subject by the Puritan ministers Jeremiah Burroughs and Thomas Watson.

Why should we want to be content?

1. The first and most important reason is because God commands it: “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. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

2. It is our duty as Christians. We believe that our circumstances are not the result of chance or luck, but because our wise Father has decreed this for us. Therefore, contentment fits us for our duties and makes our duties lively.

3. Contentment makes our life more comfortable. When we are content, we are not dependent on the creature for our comfort. Contentment changes an affliction into something else. Quoting Burroughs: “Godly men get more riches out of their poverty than ever they get out of their revenues. Godly men are better for an affliction; many godly men are worse for their prosperity.”

4.It is a means of worshiping God rightly. In active obedience, we do what pleases Him. In passive obedience, we are pleased with what God does.

5. Contentment is excellent. As Watson says, “It is a remedy against all our troubles, a comfort to all our burdens, a cure of care.”

6. Contentment exhibits the beauty of grace and the strength of grace. It sweetens every condition. God’s glory is exhibited in contentment.

7. Contentment makes our souls fit to receive mercy. We must hold still to receive God’s mercy. Quiet your hearts; quiet your soul.

8. Contentment delivers us from many temptations. It keeps us from murmuring, envy, covetousness, anger, and a host of other sins. Contentment is  a way of mortifying the flesh.

9. Sabbath is kept in a contented heart; where there is contentment, there is rest. Get into the ark of contentment.

10. By contentment our souls are nearer to God’s own excellence. When God is our portion, we are “self-sufficient” in the best sense, because we don’t need much, and what we have we are thankful for.

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9 thoughts on “Ten Reasons for Contentment

  1. No one has written better on the issue of contentment than these two. I can always tell when my heart is rested and when it’s not, or when my soul is in turmoil and when it’s not, it all comes down to contentment.

    Many many years ago when I was much younger I used to think that contentment was complacency and so I fought hard against contentment because in my mind I thought that was being lazy and complacent. It wasn’t until God started opening my eyes to true Biblical contentment that I started understanding the difference. Once in a while those old beliefs come rushing back and causing turmoil in my soul, but I’ve had to mortify those. When you truly hold on to the full sovereignty of God in all things it sets things in the right light. The thing which I used to think was complacency is now a true resting in the sovereignty of God.

  2. Nancy,
    Thank you so much for this Post. It started me mulling over the idea of contentment so I looked up your quote from Thomas Watson. Mr. Watson’s verbage is unusual and penitrating in “The Art of Divine Contentment”.
    I hope to read Burrough’s afterwards. I had not heard of him before I read his name in your post. Thank you for the introduction and for jarring my memory about Thomas Watson.
    I especially appreciate your 10th reason. It definately gives a full stop. Thank you again.

  3. I just picked up Watson’s book, The Art of Divine Contentment again Nancy! Every page is rich in blessing. Thanks for introducing me to such a great book.

  4. I weep as I write. Today as I walked with my young son on a wooded trail along side of a silvery pond, while the dragonflies dipped and swept through the dimming orange and pink sky, we had a loving talk about how the illness he had may never be cured. He quietly cried and confessed how he felt he had been a burden financially to us and also felt it had taken too much time for the 80 plus doctor visits that it had required of us over these past few months. I assured him he was not a burden that we would give this and more to him freely, because of the depth of our love for him. As we rounded the pond and headed to the car, we hugged, big hugs, and he repeated over and over again how thankful he was for me and his papa and the care we were giving him and that God was providing. On the way home he continued to talk confirming that he knew God was in control and that ‘gives me comfort’. Such big words for a little guy. Simple contentment in the heart of a child. Still weeping.

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