This is book 7 of my summer reading. I was a little apprehensive to pick this one up and start reading it because contentment is something I'd like to think I've gotten a handle on. It's been a focus for at least the past year, but there are definitely areas where I'm still discontented.
Chapter 1 really sucks you in, though. Jeremiah Burroughs made it very clear to me. I don't know exactly what it was, but yeah. Basically the first chapter is spent defining the following statement:
Contentment is the inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to and taking pleasure in God’s disposal in every condition.
He points out several things that I've always wondered about in the back of my mind in dealing with contentment. Contentment isn't opposed to being apprehensive about our circumstances. If I don't understand the risk, it's not really contentment. It's more ignorance. It's also ok to present my complaints to God in a quiet, submissive way.
A few quotes that stuck out to me . . .
And so far as he leads me I may follow his providence; it is but my duty. . . . with such submission and holy resignation of spirit, to be delivered when God wills, and as God wills, and how God wills, so that our wills are melted into the will of God. (p.22)
It's that melting of my will into God's will that is probably one of the biggest struggles of contentment (at least for me). I mean, I desire God's will above all else, but to actually be content in waiting for that and to put everything into His hands isn't as easy as saying it.
When God casts us down, we must be content to lie till God bids us stand up, and God's Spirit enters into us to enable us to stand up. (p.37)
I'm only on chapter 5 of this book because I'm actually taking notes as I'm reading it. But I would recommend reading it for just the first chapter even. It's a little repetitive in places, but I think that may be because it's a compilation of sermons? (Not really sure about that, but it seems like it's plausible.)