15.10.08

On Contentment

Yesterday's Grace Gem was so good that I had to read the full length article it was taken from. The work of these older authors are not as easy reading (for some?) as more contemporary writing, but there is such wisdom to be taken hold of! So if you're up to it, you can read the full-length article Here, or enjoy some excerpts:

Be Content, by J.C. Ryle, 1885

There are few readers of this very paper, I will venture to say, who do not want something or other, different from what they have—something more or something less....If you only had this or that thing granted—you imagine that you would be quite happy.
Hear now with what power Paul's direction ought to come to all our consciences: "Be content," he says, "with such things as you have," not with such things as you once used to have—not with such things as you hope to have—but with such things as you have now. With such things, whatever they may be, we are to be content—with such a dwelling, such a position, such health, such income, such work, such circumstances as we have, we are to be content...

If you would be truly happy...seek it where alone it can be found. Seek it not in money, seek it not in pleasure, nor in friends, nor in learning. Seek it in having a will in perfect harmony with the will of God...

You may say, perhaps, that you have such crosses, and trials, and troubles, that it is impossible to be content. I answer, that you would do well to remember your ignorance. Do you know best, what is good for you—or does God? Are you wiser than He?
The things you want—might ruin your soul. The things you have lost—might have poisoned you...

The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the only treasury of consolation. Without it we have nothing to depend on; "our feet will slide in due time" (Deut. 32:35). With it we are like those who stand on a rock. That man is ready for anything—who has got a firm hold of God's promises.
Once more, then, I say to every reader, arm yourself with a thorough knowledge of God's Word. Read it, and be able to say, "I have hope, because it is thus and thus written! I am not afraid, because it is thus and thus written!" Happy is that soul who can say with Job, "I have esteemed the words of his mouth—more than my necessary food!" (Job 23. 12)...

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

6 comments:

E03 said...

For single girls, I think we often look to marriage to fulfill us. Thanks for this reminder that we need to be content now...or never!

Penn Tomassetti said...

I'm glad you posted this, Stephanie. I needed to read this. Thank you so much. By the way, J. C. Ryle is one of my favorite old time authors! :)

"The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, is the only treasury of consolation. Without it we have nothing to depend on; "our feet will slide in due time" (Deut. 32:35). With it we are like those who stand on a rock. That man is ready for anything—who has got a firm hold of God's promises."

I can testify that this quote is so true!

Stephanie said...

We need to be content now...or never!" Well put, e03. The refining process that is often necessary to teach us true contentment is not easy, but necessary. (at least for this stubborn heart. :))

Penn, I don't know very much about J.C. Ryle but I've really enjoyed what I've read by him so far. Is there a specific article/book that makes him a favorite of yours?

Penn Tomassetti said...

I've read tracts, sermons and one book by Ryle (actually I'm not done reading the book yet). I give away gospel tracts that are adapted from his writings, and the book is called Holiness. You can find a list of available tracts and booklets by Ryle on the www.mountzion.org website, or you can read a lot of them on the internet. Another preacher that lived in his time who has influenced me is C. H. Spurgeon, do you know him?

Noelle said...

Hello Stephanie!

I have been following your blog for a little while now (yes, lurking ;) and I've enjoyed it! You post some very interesting, thought-provoking things. Thank you! :) I will be continuing to keep up with what you have to say! :)

Blessings to you!
Noelle Mathison

Stephanie said...

Hi Noelle, thanks for introducing yourself! I'm glad that you've been enjoying this blog and I always welcome reader's thoughts!