I and several pastor buddies have been reading through The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by a Puritan named Jeremiah Burrows. I’ve been quite impressed with this book which seems to have providentially come to me at a very uncertain time in my life.
I really have no certainty of what God has for me down the road, how He’ll use the Henderson’s to build His Kingdom, or even how we’ll be provided for. Life has been incredibly precarious for me, as it has been for a number of people in this economy. And I find myself reading through The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment and preaching through Habakkuk. The book has been quite challenging and has moved me toward being more proactive in my journey of contentment.
Of course there is always the question of “how.” How is it possible to be content amidst trial or simply a precarious situation?
Here’s an encouraging excerpt: “……Oh we cannot bear them, we cannot bear such an affliction…..yet how can you tell what you will do with the strength of Jesus Christ? You say you cannot bear it? So you think that Christ could not bear it? But if Christ could bear it, why may you not come to bear it? You will say, Can I have the strength of Christ? Yes it is made over to you by faith.”
A helpful reminder that we do indeed have the strength of Christ in us in our journey of contentment. While not as eloquent as Burrows, but certainly much shorter, here is my final sermon in the Habakkuk series focusing on contentment.
Geoff- this is one my favorite books. I keep returning to it. It was very formative in my early Christian journey. The other books in that category are Packer’s Knowing God, and Henry Scudder’s The Christian’s Daily Walk. It seemed I was always reading these when trials were coming, and I could see God preparing me for where He would take me next. May He continue to bless you and your family, and use you mightily for His kingdom.
Chris,Great to hear. Its really quite a good read. I’ve been using it lately as a supplement to my scripture reading in the morning. It will definitely be one I’ll be returning to time and time again.
Geoff, I’ve had this book on my shelf for a number of years and even gave 2 books as gifts, but have never read it. I believe I bought it on Marvin Olasky’s (World Mag.) recommendation. Looks like I need to get at it and read it. Thanks. G
Gail,That’s funny. I’m only to page 85 or so, so I’ve still got a ways to go. But all three of us pastors loved it, and my best bud recommended it to me as well. Definitely let me know what you think!