I was reading in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment again this morning, and this passage so affected me – I pray it encourages others of you as well!

Speaking about how Christ teaches his children contentment:

“He teaches them to understand what is the one thing that is necessary, which he never understood before.  You know what He said to Martha: ‘O Martha, thou cumberest thyself about many things, but there is one thing necessary.’  Before, the soul sought after this and that, but now it says, I see that it is not necessary for me to be rich, but it is necessary for me to make my peace with God; it is not necessary that I should live a pleasurable life in this world, but it is absolutely necessary that I should have pardon of my sin; it is not necessary that I should have honour and preferment, but it is necessary that I should have God as my portion, and have my part in Jesus Christ, it is necessary that my soul should be saved in the day of Jesus Christ.  The other things are pretty fine indeed, and I should be glad if God would give me them, a fine house, an income, and clothes, and advancement for my wife and children: these are comfortable things, but they are not the necessary things; I may have these and yet perish forever, but the other is absolutely necessary.  No matter how poor I am, I may have what is absolutely necessary: thus Christ instructs the soul. 

…So certainly, when the soul is at once taken up with the things that are of absolute necessity, it will not be much troubled about other things.  What are the things that disquiet us here but some by-matters in this world?  And it is because our hearts are not taken up with the one absolutely necessary thing…but when the heart is taken up with the weighty things of eternity, with the great things of eternal life, the things of here below that disquieted it before are things now of no consequence to him in comparison with the other – how things fall out here is not much regarded by him, if the one that that is necessary is provided for.”

~Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

This was so helpful for me to remember!!  God is my portion, and He is enough!  And yet He has given me earthly comforts, and when I grow discontent with those things He has given me, it is so helpful to remember that I have the one thing that is of greatest importance: my soul shall be saved in the day of Jesus Christ!  This is the heart and the character of our God, to grant us not only what is necessary, but what is above and beyond it.  And this is the day He has made – let us be glad and rejoice in it!

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