Six Reasons to Be Content

In Thomas Manton’s Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer he dissects the words of Christ in the minutest way. Like a surgeon performing microscopic surgery, Manton distills many wonderful, life changing truths.

I have shared some of those thoughts as I read through this volume, and I intend to continue sharing these wonderful gems.

Today I read six reasons to be content. It is found under his use 5. This fifth use is, “Let us be contented with that portion which God hath given us of worldly things, if the Lord be the donor.”[1]  So what are the six reasons? Read on to find out!

Reason First, “Because God stands upon his sovereignty; you must stand to God’s allowance, though he gives to others more and to you less; for God is supreme, and will not be controlled in the disposal of what is his own.”[2]

This one hit me hard. I am an achiever by nature. I like to accomplish tasks. I feel better about myself when I can point to several completed sermons, blog posts, etc. But sometimes I find myself discontented. I see people half my age in advanced ministry positions. They are publishing their fifth book, while I have not published an academic article. So I begin to feel discontented.

I am sure that you find yourself in this predicament as well. Perhaps you are feeling disgruntled because you do not have her body. Or, perhaps you are upset because so-and-so has a better paying job. The list of reasons to feel discontented are practically endless. But when we think this way, we end up forgetting one key aspect of life: God is sovereign.

As Manton notes, “The fullness of the earth and all is his; and, therefore, though others have better trading, and finer apparel, and be more amply provided for than we are, God is sovereign, and will give according to his pleasure, and you must be content.”[3]

Or, consider these soul-stirring words of Pink, “The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases only as He pleases, always as He pleases.”[4]

Christian, have we forgotten this vital truth? Do we realize that when we exhibit discontentment, that we are questioning the sovereignty of God? The first reason, and perhaps the main reason to be content is that God is sovereign.

He made you with your body. He provided your station in life. He gives you breath to perform your duties. He moves and changes as He sees fit. While this may be frustrating, it is also invigorating. We can trust that our Sovereign Father is leading, guiding, protecting, and molding us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

The first reason to be content, then, is because He is sovereign.

[1] Thomas Manton, The Works of Thomas Manton Volume I (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1993), 164

[2] Manton, Works Volume I, 164.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1975), 32.

 

For more from Manton, see:

4 Ways to Minister Like the Angels: A Word from T. Manton

3 Ways to Know You Love God’s Will

On the Goodness of God’s Will: Manton’s Marvelous Memoir

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