Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1647), commenting on Phil. 4:11 – I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content – wrote this about contentment:
Contentment in every condition is a great art, a spiritual mystery. It is to be learned and to be learned as a mystery. And so in verse 12, [Paul] affirms, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:every where and in all things I am instructed.” The word that is translated instructed is derived from the word that signifies “mystery.” It is just as if he had said, “I have learned the mystery of this business.” Contentment is to be learned as a great mystery, and those who are thoroughly trained in this art, which is like Samson’s riddle to a natural man, have learned a deep mystery…Ioffer the following description: 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 condition. I shall break open this description, for it is a box of precious ointment and very comforting and useful for troubled hearts in troubled times and conditions.
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