The King’s Cross men read the Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment last month for our book discussion, and I mentioned to the men that one of the things that has stuck with me from the first time I read it all the way through was the fact that Jeremiah Burroughs preached the sermons that became that book right in the middle of the English Civil War. It was a huge blessing to me when I realized that when all of England was in turmoil and unrest and true instability, Pastor Burroughs thought that what his people needed was a series of messages on Christian contentment. And I think it’s a testimony to Pastor Burroughs that his people made sure that these messages were kept and published after he died only a year or two later.
One of the key texts on this topic is Phil. 4:11-12: “I have learned, in whatever state I am in, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Notice that. The strength that Christ gives is for contentment. It was for walking through moments and seasons of unrest and poverty, and for walking through moments and seasons of success and wealth. And this gets at I think what Pastor Burroughs realized. Contentment is not apathy. Contentment is not stoicism. Contentment is a quiet and resting heart in the middle of everything. And the contented heart is quiet and resting (not a roller coaster of emotions) because Christ is there. Christ is there strengthening His people in all things, through all things.
And that’s the key thing. We need strength for the journey. We need strength to fight sin. We need strength to obey. We need strength to trust. And that means we need Christ strengthening us to rest in Him while we fight, while we obey, while we wait. And that is what is offered to you here. Christ Himself offers Himself. Come and rest, so that you might be strengthened for the fight.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.