In Matthew 6:11, Jesus prays, “Give us this day our daily bread” (ESV)
This small petition is packed with meaning, as we have already noted in our reading of Manton’s exposition of the Lord’s Prayer. It has been an incredibly rich study yielding delightful fruit for our souls.
However, in our present section, Thoman Manton is discussing the use of this petition. The Puritan preachers were extremely practical preachers, seeking to divide rightly the Word of Truth and to apply it vigorously to our lives. In this particular petition, Manton spends time examining how this truth can help the Christian be content.
The word content means having enough. When you are standing in line at the buffet and the server asks if you would like more, you reply, “No thank you, I’m good!” What you mean is that you have plenty of food and do not need anymore (evident in many of our waists, sad to say!). We are content. So, how does Manton provide yet another reason to be content?
Manton writes, “God doth not only give suitable to your condition, but suitable to your strength, such a portion as you are able to bear.” (Manton, 164)
What a gloriously sweet Father we serve that He will not give us more than we can handle! A wise parent will give her child a few pieces of candy because she knows that too much sugar can spoil their dinner, harm their teeth, and possibly make them sick. Likewise, and on a great level (infinitely so, we might say), our Heavenly Father loves giving us good gifts, but does so with infinite wisdom to match. He knows how many blessings we are able to bear without souring our souls. He knows how many good gifts to lay on our backs before we give in to self-sufficient thoughts.
Speaking in a pastoral, wise tone, Manton notes, “God layeth affliction pon his people, and he gives them mercies as they are able to bear; if they had more, they would have more snares, more temptations.” (Manton, 164)
Another reason to be content, then, is because God is sovereignly good because He wisely distributes His goodness in proportion to the ability of the believer.
For more in this series on contentment, see:
For more from Manton, see: