Friday, September 25, 2009

Rare jewel of contentment

“Since God is contented with Himself alone, if you have Him, you may be contented with Him alone, and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you. It may be that while you had these things they shared with God in your affection, a great part of the stream of your affection ran that way: God would have the full stream run to Him now.”

During the last two months, I have just been absorbed in this book entitled, "The rare jewel of Christian contentment," by Jeremiah Burroughs, 1599-1646, reading several sections multiple times as the Lord ministers to my spirit.

I purchased two copies, sending one to John, an inmate brother at Twin Rivers in Monroe, and one for me. John tells me he really enjoys it but it sure appears the Lord meant the book more for my heart and ears. It is a small book of 228 pages and I'm disappointed to be on page 200 and in chapter 11 of 13. Our most cherished books are read multiple times, often in God's good timing.

I was doing my rounds at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center right after lunch on Friday and felt the Lord's leading to bring this book along and even focus somehow on a section quoted below on God's gracious work to humble our spirits and break our hearts.

I came into Edward Unit and called upon Luis who requested I also join with Francisco and Almondo. They were discussing dealing with their own cold and hard hearts. I had us read Numbers 16, first. I have read the below section by Jeremiah Burroughs in the rare jewel book maybe five times. Together, we were amazed and gave the Lord praise as I told them about reading this section and bringing the book with me.

So, on pages 181 and 182, Burroughs writes, "Now I am discontented and murmuring because I am afflicted; but that is why you are afflicted, because God would humble you. The great design God has in afflicting you is to break and humble your heart; and will you maintain a spirit quite opposite to the work of God?

"For you to murmur and be discontented is to resist the work of God. God is doing you good if you could see it, and if He is pleased to sanctify your affliction to break that hard heart of yours, and humble that proud spirit of yours, it would be the greatest mercy you ever had in all your life. Now, will you still stand out against God?

"It is just as if you were to say, 'well, the Lord is about to break me and humble me, but He shall not.'

"This is the language of your murmuring and your discontentedness, though you dare not say so.
But though you do not say so in words, it is certainly the language of the temper of your spirit. Oh, consider what an aggravation this is: I am discontented when God is about to work such a work upon me as is for my good, yet I stand out against Him and resist Him."

1 comment:

Kevin Rogers said...

Hi Mark

This looks like a fascinating read. If I have your permission, I would like to post a link to your page at my blog