Monday, January 09, 2006

Contentment Part 1

The singles retreat was a success! It's so encouraging to see how eager everyone is to hear from the Lord! Chris had asked me to put together a talk on contentment for the ladies and I thought that over the next few days I would share some of my notes from my study.

Discontentment has been something that I have always struggled with. Call me the "grass is greener on the other side" lady. The Lord, in his grace, has grown me in this area as I have fought to put it to death for many years. I actually got to the point where I thought that it was no longer something that I struggled with. How arrogant of me :-) Then my son Trevor was born. Oh I love my little man! Let me make that known before I continue! But I also love sleep- who doesn't really? And little man and sleep didn't go together until, well recently. It's still very rare that I'm not up at least once with him. But it was more pronouced for the first eight months of his life! He would wake up at midnight then again at 3 or 4. Sometimes he would go back to bed other times he just cry for an hour. For the first few months it really wasn't a struggle. I actually treasured my nights being up with him and would take time to pray for him and my daughter Taylor while I was up. But as the months turned into more months, I well, grew discontent. Sleep was no longer something I loved but an idol in my heart. I would wake up to him crying at 2:00 am and get so angry! What is wrong with my child? I would yell inside. Why won't he sleep through the night? It didn't help that there was a baby boom at our church around the time his was born and the ones born before him and after him all slept through the night and had for a few months! Quick side not, don't compare you child to others. God made each child unique in his image. I had to learn that lesson. Well the sin continued to poor out over this issue and I also saw how discontentment began to spread to other areas of my life as well. A dear friend of mine, knowing my struggle in this area, let me borrow her book The Art Of Divine Contentment by Thomas Watson. It was deeply convicted as I read this book but not hopeless. It constantly brought me back to the gospel! I leave you today with some definitions of contentment that I found during my study.

Watson Defines: “ It is a sweet temper of spirit, whereby a Christian carries himself in an equal poise in every condition” Contentment doth not appear only now and then as some stars which are seen but seldom: it is a settled temper of the heart. It is not casual, but constant” 34,35,31 The Art Of Divine Contentment

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every situation.” The Rare Jewel OF Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

“What is contentment? It is having a satisfied mind in any situation. It is find inner satisfaction in God alone and in his provision for you. It is experiencing his peace and confidence in difficult times. It is consciously enjoying the fact the God is good even when your circumstances are not.” Robert D Jones, Journal Of Biblical Counseling article on Contentment


andrea said...

i particularly liked the quote where watson compared our earthly sufferings with our soul's state, thus encouraging us to have an eternal perspective b/c our greatest need has been taken care of.

Mike said...

That's really good. I myself struggle with always wanting more, and not trusting God that what I've been provided with is enough.

Also, I wanted to say thank you for ministering to me that last night. Your prayers and encouragment meant a lot to me. Thanks.

Karen Hevesy said...

We are far past the baby stage here. I now am tempted to look at other teenagers and singles who are walking strong with the Lord and say, please God let my kids be like those kids. I have to stop myself and bring it back to where it needs to be. Please God help my children to be more like You!

Danielle said...

Hi, I found your blog through Laurie's and go to a Sovereign Grace church in MD. I love the last quote, which says contentment is "having a satisfied mind in any situation." I pray the Lord will develop that mind in me.

Zoanna said...

Excellent quote, I agree. Thanks. I, too, am a friend of Laurie's and Danielle's. I never cease to be amazed at how fleeting the nature of contentment is. Ask me today, I'll tell you I'm content. I find the lie from Satan is this: you have a right to be discontented. I mean, look at you, your situation, your (whatever could suck me into self-pity), and boom! There I go. I pray for a more steadfast heart.