A contented heart is a temple where the praises of God sound forth — not a sepulcher wherein they are buried. The Spirit of grace works in such a heart like new wine, which, under the pressure of sorrow, will have a vent open for thankfulness.
The discontented spirit is ever murmuring; the contented mind is ever praising.
He who is contented with his condition, be it ever so humble, never diminishes his spiritual treasures — he carries a pardon sealed in his heart.
A contented Christian does not choose his own cross — but is willing to take that which God chooses, and is content with the kind and the duration of the cross. He will wait for God's providence to remove it — but never force the door to escape from it.
A proud man is never contented; he thinks so highly of himself, that small blessings are disdained by him, and under small crosses he is impatient. The humble spirit is the contented spirit; if his cross is light, he reckons it in the inventory of his mercies; if it is heavy, he takes it on his knees, knowing "All things work together for his good." Where humility is the foundation — contentment will be the superstructure.
Contentment is a slip taken from the tree of life, and planted by the Spirit of God in the soul.
It pleased God to bring the Apostle Paul into most painful and trying conditions: hear him, "We are troubled on every side!" there was the sadness of his condition; "but not distressed," there was his contentment. "We are perplexed," there was his sadness; "but not in despair," there was his contentment. He could say, "In prisons more frequent, in deaths often." Yet he could add, "I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content."
Paul, in regard to his faith, was like a cedar — he could not be moved; but in his circumstances, he was like a reed, bending contentedly to every wind of Providence. When a gale of prosperity blew upon him, he could bend to that. When the tempest of trial raged, he could bend to that. "I know both how to be full, and how to be abased." A Christian, having cast anchor in Heaven, his heart never sinks; a gracious spirit is a contented spirit.
A contented Christian carries Heaven with him; for what is Heaven — but that sweet repose, and full confidence, that the soul shall have in God? In contentment there is the first-fruits of Heaven.
A contented Christian is like Noah in the ark: although tossed upon the waters, he reposed confidently in his God. The soul that is safe in the ark of contentment — sits quiet and sails above all the waves of trouble, and can even sing amid the deluge. The wheels of a chariot are an emblem of contentment: the wheels move, the axle stirs not. When change and motion are around us, a contented spirit remains firm in its center.
Wicked men are often disquieted in the enjoyment of all things.
The Christian is often contented with the lack of all things.
Impatience is the daughter of infidelity. Contentment is an honeycomb which drops sweetness into every condition. Discontent is a leaven which sours every comfort. It embitters every mercy — it doubles every cross.
This holy contentment keeps the heart from fainting in the autumn — when the fruit and leaves are gone, there is still sap in the root. So when there comes an autumn in the history of the Christian, and the leaves of his earthly prosperity fall off — there is the sap of contentment in his heart. The contented heart is never out of heart.
Spiritual things satisfy: the more of Heaven there is in the soul, the less will earth content. The joys of God's Spirit are heart-filling and heart-cheering.
Never look for perfection of contentment — until there be perfection of grace.