March 21, 2022

Divine Contentment

Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 

Psalm 143:8
At one point in his book The Art of Divine Contentment, Puritan pastor Thomas Watson (d. 1686) explains his subject by contrasting two stories in the Bible. First is the story of Israel in the wilderness coming to a place they named “Marah” (from the Hebrew word for “bitter”), because they couldn’t drink the water there. The second is the story of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. “Contentment sweetens every condition,” he said. “Christ turned the water into wine; so contentment turns the water of Marah into spiritual wine.” Thus Contentment decides not to dwell on the negative, but to seek the positive. “Be not anxious to bring your condition to your mind, but bring your mind to your condition,” for by worrying, “we’re more likely to add a mile to our grief than an inch to our comfort!”

There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it.
 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Almighty God, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking: Set free thy servants from all anxious thoughts for the morrow; give us contentment with thy good gifts; and confirm our faith that according as we seek thy kingdom, thou wilt not suffer us to lack any good thing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Augustine of Hippo
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.