Morning & Evening Daily Devotional Reading– February 16
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“I have learned, in whatever circumstances I find myself, to be content.”
These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Like bad weeds in the garden, covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are plentiful in our lives. We do not have to plant them; they come up easily enough all by themselves.
The precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we want to have wheat, we must plow and sow; if we want flowers, a garden must be kept, and plenty of the gardener’s care must be given as well. Contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we want to have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by itself; only the new nature can produce it by the Spirit’s power.
Paul tells us, “I have learned to be content;” that implies that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to grasp the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned it, and then broke down. And when at last he could say, “I have learned in whatever condition I am to be content,” he was an old, gray-headed man, a step away from the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.
Perhaps you are truly willing to suffer Paul’s hardships in order to gain his maturity. But do not indulge the notion that you can learn to be content without discipline. It is not a power that can be exercised naturally, but rather, a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Silence your murmuring today, as natural as it may be, and continue to be a careful student in the College of Contentment. [M&E]