Contentment Part 5
As we have talked about in preceding parts, we have seen that contentment is a bit of a spiritual mystery. Remember, the natural man does not receive the things of God, they are foolishness to him for they are spiritually discerned. (1Cor.2:14) Those in the world apart from Christ can never be content. To be at peace in every situation, we must be at peace with our creator, God himself. To be content, I do not have to be rich, but I must have the peace of God, to be content, I do not need every pleasure this life has to offer, but I must have pardon for my sin, to be content, I do not have to be honored and preferred, but I must have God as my portion. The men of the world have their portion in this world (Psalm 17:4), and remember this world is passing away, (1John 2:17), but for the Christian, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26).
Romans 5:1, shares with us the one thing necessary that will guide us into contentment, "Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Paul points out that peace of God comes from justification by faith, in other words being made right with God. That long five syllable word justification can be a little intimidating to define or get a grasp of all it entails. If I can put it into a few words, I would say something like this," It is a legal act of God that at the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God forgives us of our sins and declares us righteous." The great English Puritan Thomas Watson says, "Justification is an act of God's free grace, whereby He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, and received by faith alone."
How happy and how at peace is a justified person who has the power of God to guard him, and the peace of God to comfort him. How is it that it stands with God's justice and holiness to pronounce us innocent when we are guilty? For Christ has made satisfaction for our faults, is that God can pronounce us righteous. Christ has kept the whole law, never failing in not even one point of it. Romans 3:28 states, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law." And Romans 4:5,"But the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness." We have been declared to have fulfilled everything required of us. This of course was done for us by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is after all a just thing for a creditor to discharge a debtor of the debt, when a satisfaction is made by our Surety. Heb.7:22, "Jesus has become the guarantee (Surety) of a better covenant." The only place in the New Testament where the word Surety is used. He has paid the debt for us!
And we need to constantly keep our minds, eyes, and trust in Him. Isaiah 26:3,"You will keep him in perfect peace, he whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." There will be toil, trouble, and turmoil for us to go through, but we can trust His word in all places, like 2Cor.4:17,"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison." The great English Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs says, "Christians know that they are in their warfare, they are in this world fighting and combating with the enemies of their souls and their eternal welfare, and they must be willing to endure hardness here. A right understanding of this fact that God has put them into such a condition is what will make them content, especially when they consider that they are certain of the victory and that ere long they shall triumph with Jesus Christ; then all their sorrows shall be done away, and their tears wiped from their eyes." Acquaint yourselves now with God and be at peace, thereby good will come to you. "Job 22:21
Elder Randy Slak