Today will be short yet piercing. Burroughs point is simple, "the soul that has learned this lesson of contentment looks up to God in all things." Simply put the soul that is contented does not set his praises towards man or any such instrument for securing his hope. The soul that is content looks only to God and rests in His sovereignty and goodness.
This section is marking the difference between being comforted by the things of God and by God Himself. I fear that in my own life I look to the books on my shelf faster than to I look to Jesus. It is one thing to admire these great men and women of God. It is quite another for them to become sacred substitutes. One of the things that I love about such men as John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, Charles Spurgeon, Robert Murray McCheyne, among a host of others, is that they point me to Jesus and cause me to hunger for Christ and His Word. Yet, I am guilty of stopping there. I should again resolve to be as Andrew Bonar who, 1) would not speak to any man before speaking to Jesus 2) would not do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees 3) not to read the papers (internet news/blogs/etc. for us) until he had read his Bible.
I understand that Burroughs is primarily talking about what the believer does in affliction. I would like to think that after coming through an affliction I would not be so thoughtless as to bow my knees and thank the folks at Desiring God for publishing The Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. In fact I think it is right to bow our knee and thank God for such men and women. But the issue is this, am I thanking God and only God (whatever means he uses) or is their a spot of unhealthy adoration in my heart for His instruments? Knowing that my heart is prone to idolatry I would not doubt that I exalt even such men to a place of unhealthy adoration. May the Lord break us of our pride and our idolatry!