Monday, June 5, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 3

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 3, Mr. Burroughs gives various reasons why it is difficult to learn how to abound:
  1. Because we are mostly flesh; there is more flesh than spirit in us (p. 37).
  2. Because in prosperity there are more duties required of us than in adversity (p. 37).
  3. Because there are a variety of temptations that go along with a full condition (p. 39).
  4. Because fullness not only provides a temptation to sin but also provides fuel for all kinds of lusts (p. 42).
  5. Because a full condition is in danger of hindering those graces that are distinctly Christian (p. 44).
  6. Because of the solemn and frequent charges God gives to His people to take heed to themselves when they are full (p. 46).
  7. Because the Bible does not show that a full condition ever turned any soul to God or was the means of doing so, when that person had not turned to God before (p. 48).
  8. Because most of God's children who were brought into a full condition became worse for it than better (p. 49).
  9. Because God uses affliction and not abundance as a tool for sanctification (p. 50).
The author warns that a "wealthy man's estate is a temptation to pride, to uncleanness, or to overindulgence...Fullness will feed those lusts if you have not learned how to be full," (pp. 41, 42).

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).