I received an email today that linked to this article by JC Ryle on contentment. If you have a few extra minutes, it's totally worth the time it would take to read it. What a blessing it was for me to read it. To be content in this life. sigh. I want this in my life. Here's an exerpt from the article:
"Hear now with what power Paul's direction ought to come to all our consciences: "Be content," he says, "with such things as you have," not with such things as you once used to have—not with such things as you hope to have—but with such things as you have now. With such things, whatever they may be, we are to be content—with such a dwelling, such a position, such health, such income, such work, such circumstances as we have, we are to be content.
Reader, a spirit of this kind is the secret of a light heart and an easy mind. Few, I am afraid, have the least idea what a shortcut to happiness, it is to be content.
To be content is to be rich and well off. He is the rich man who has no wants, and requires no more. I ask not what his income may be. A man may be rich in a cottage and poor in a palace.
To be content is to be independent. He is the independent man who hangs on no created things for comfort, and has God for his portion.
Such a man is the only one who is always happy. Nothing can come amiss or go wrong with such a man. Afflictions will not shake him, and sickness will not disturb his peace. He can gather grapes from thorns, and figs from thistles, for he can get good out of evil. Like Paul and Silas, he will sing in prison, with his feet fast in the stocks. Like Peter, he will sleep quietly in prospect of death, the very night before his execution. Like Job, he will bless the Lord, even when stripped of all his comforts.
Ah! reader, if you would be truly happy (who does not want this?) seek it where alone it can be found. Seek it not in money, seek it not in pleasure, nor in friends, nor in learning. Seek it in having a will in perfect harmony with the will of God. Seek it in studying to be content."