Friday, November 30, 2007

Burroughs--Taking Pleasure in God's Disposal

Last time we saw that contentment is a free work of the spirit. This time we will see that it is taking pleasure in God's disposal. (p9-10). At this point Burroughs is going to take us further into this matter of Christian contentment. It is not only seeing that we should be content, but it is actually seeing good in, and taking pleasure in, the affliction. Burroughs notes that it is not merely looking back on the affliction and saying with David, "it was good that I was afflicted". Rather, it is being in the midst of the trial and saying, "it is good that I am afflicted". "Not just good when you see the good fruit it has wrought, but to say when you are afflicted, 'It is good that I am afflicted'."

We see this type of contentment evidenced in Proverbs 15:6, "In the house of the righteous is much treasure, but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble". Regardless of the state of the righteous man's house in it he has much treasure. "There is more treasure in the poorest body's house, if he is godly, than in the house of the greatest man in the world, who has his fine hangings and finely-wrought beds and chairs and couches and cupboards of plate and the like. Whatever he has, he has not so much treasure in it as there is in the house of the poorest righteous soul." This should consistently remind us that no matter what lot in life the Lord gives us we still have the greatest treasure; namely Jesus Christ. What a great gift the Father has lavished upon us. We also see evidence of this in the Apostle Paul's life. Who spent many nights naked and hungry, yet was able to say, "possessing all things" (2 Cor. 6:10).

I am again reminded of the quote by Samuel Rutherford that continues to ring in my mind. It is an excellent work. If you do not own it I would suggest clicking on its picture on the sidebar and buying it for $7. It will be worth every penny. The quote is thus: “I would not want the sweet experience of the consolations of God for all the bitterness of affliction; nay, whether God come to his children with a rod or a crown, if he come himself with it, it is well". He then continues by saying, “It is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bed-side…than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong, and never visited of God.”

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