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The Art of Divine Contentment

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This is Watson's masterful treatment on the subject of Contentment from Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." This excellent book is full of sound exposition and practical application. This is Watson's masterful treatment on the subject of Contentment from Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." This excellent book is full of sound exposition and practical application.


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This is Watson's masterful treatment on the subject of Contentment from Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." This excellent book is full of sound exposition and practical application. This is Watson's masterful treatment on the subject of Contentment from Philippians 4:11, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." This excellent book is full of sound exposition and practical application.

30 review for The Art of Divine Contentment

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bambi Moore

    Beautiful exposition of Philippians 4:11. Thomas Watson is my favorite Puritan author and this one should be read often. If you highlight in your books, you would be better off highlighting what *isn't* a meaningful, insightful teaching. Enjoyed every page of this. Beautiful exposition of Philippians 4:11. Thomas Watson is my favorite Puritan author and this one should be read often. If you highlight in your books, you would be better off highlighting what *isn't* a meaningful, insightful teaching. Enjoyed every page of this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    Mr. Watson does away with my objection that I cannot in writing be deep and concise. His sentences have a chiseled power which has aged remarkably well to address our shrunken attention spans with bite-size, well grounded theology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    2020: Great. Read alongside with Jeremiah Burroughs' book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment- (I'm wondering who wrote his book first?) Both books great, but if you are going to read only one, I say read Burroughs'. 2019:An encouraging exposition of Philippians 4:11. Read also All Things For Good (an exposition of Rom 8:28) by the same author. Both books will challenge you and encourage you to persevere faithfully and joyfully through trails. 2020: Great. Read alongside with Jeremiah Burroughs' book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment- (I'm wondering who wrote his book first?) Both books great, but if you are going to read only one, I say read Burroughs'. 2019:An encouraging exposition of Philippians 4:11. Read also All Things For Good (an exposition of Rom 8:28) by the same author. Both books will challenge you and encourage you to persevere faithfully and joyfully through trails.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carissa Carns

    Now I have to read more Watson. “In a word a contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God's disposal and is willing to live in that sphere and climate where God has set him.” Now I have to read more Watson. “In a word a contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God's disposal and is willing to live in that sphere and climate where God has set him.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Owen Lewis

    Short and sweet - a wonderful exhortation and encouragement to godly contentment. Definitely will be a re-read for me!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This book truly changed my life & is at the top of my list of very favorites. The book so endeared Thomas Watson to me & gave me new hope concerning be content in the midst of afflictions that never depart. I encourage every Christian to add this to their library & there just isn't enough room or time for me to name all the worthwhile attributes of this wonderful life-changing masterpiece! This book truly changed my life & is at the top of my list of very favorites. The book so endeared Thomas Watson to me & gave me new hope concerning be content in the midst of afflictions that never depart. I encourage every Christian to add this to their library & there just isn't enough room or time for me to name all the worthwhile attributes of this wonderful life-changing masterpiece!

  7. 5 out of 5

    ValeReads Kyriosity

    I remember some fellow in some college Bible study group refer to having been "convicted with an ax." It was a funny expression that stuck with me, and I pull it out if the recesses of my mind on occasions such as this. Another narrator who thinks there's a ch sound in covetous. 🤷‍♀️ I remember some fellow in some college Bible study group refer to having been "convicted with an ax." It was a funny expression that stuck with me, and I pull it out if the recesses of my mind on occasions such as this. Another narrator who thinks there's a ch sound in covetous. 🤷‍♀️

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy Lewis

    This book is so rich that I will certainly be coming back to it again and again. I practically enjoyed Chapter 14 - Rules about Contentment - which helps to direct believers in how to attain contentment.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Simple and encouraging! Lots of great quotes! "A contented man, is so constantly—it is the habit and complexion in his soul." "Discontent is a fretting temper, which dries the brains, wastes the spirits, corrodes and eats out the comfort of life." "When the heart rages through discontent, it is like a rough sea, you can see nothing there, unless it is passion and murmuring; there is nothing of God, nothing of heaven in that heart! But by virtue of contentment, the heart becomes like the sea when it Simple and encouraging! Lots of great quotes! "A contented man, is so constantly—it is the habit and complexion in his soul." "Discontent is a fretting temper, which dries the brains, wastes the spirits, corrodes and eats out the comfort of life." "When the heart rages through discontent, it is like a rough sea, you can see nothing there, unless it is passion and murmuring; there is nothing of God, nothing of heaven in that heart! But by virtue of contentment, the heart becomes like the sea when it is smooth and calm, there is a face shining there; you may see something of Christ in that heart, a representation of all the graces."

  10. 5 out of 5

    William Schrecengost

    Convicting and encouraging. Very very good

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brenton

    This is one of my top 5 favorite books right now! It is so good! Thomas Watson brings words together in a picture that you can almost touch!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Marie

    A beautiful book for Christians who struggle with being content. So many wonderful truths in simple words.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aliya Mathiesen

    This book is equally convicting and comforting. Just what my soul needed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    Another gem from Thomas Watson.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Excellent, convicting, straightforward read. I'd recommend it to all! Excellent, convicting, straightforward read. I'd recommend it to all!

  16. 5 out of 5

    ValeReads Kyriosity

    May, 2021 — So I've evidently listened to this LibriVox edition before...and completely forgotten having done so! Anyway, I was able to pay closer attention this time. There were a few bits I didn't find helpful, such as why God gives this trial or that — such speculations seem unsafe to me, but mostly gold all the way through. I appreciated Jen Raimundo's narration. Especially for devotional reading, I'd rather have a slightly less polished performance (covetousness does NOT have a CH sound!) fr May, 2021 — So I've evidently listened to this LibriVox edition before...and completely forgotten having done so! Anyway, I was able to pay closer attention this time. There were a few bits I didn't find helpful, such as why God gives this trial or that — such speculations seem unsafe to me, but mostly gold all the way through. I appreciated Jen Raimundo's narration. Especially for devotional reading, I'd rather have a slightly less polished performance (covetousness does NOT have a CH sound!) from someone with intelligent comprehension and appreciation than perfect professionalism from someone for whom it's just a job. ***** I've learned my lesson. I can't listen to non-narrative books while I'm working. Fiction and biography work OK, but following an argument apparently takes the same part of my brain as working out the problems of a book layout. So, despite repeating quite a few sections, I didn't hear carefully enough to give this a really fair assessment. But I caught some gems along the way and a few things I'd have to give a closer thought to. I'll have to go through it more carefully sometime (and likely give it the five stars it probably deserves). It'd be nice to tweet through it -- Watson was a few centuries too early for the perfect platform for his pity prose. I found him the most accessible of the Puritans I've read. And someday, perhaps, I'll remember whether it's The Art of Divine Contentment or The Divine Art of Contentment, because I have to double-check every time! The reader was a young woman who obviously appreciated the book. Her voice and intonation were pleasant, and her mispronunciations were typical of someone handling the vocabulary of a seventeenth century text. (Oh how it tickles me that I live in an era when I can push buttons and have people read book after book after book to me!)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Beck

    The best work of Watson I've read. It is full or biblical precision as well as great word pictures to shine the light on truth. Very highly recommended! The best work of Watson I've read. It is full or biblical precision as well as great word pictures to shine the light on truth. Very highly recommended!

  18. 5 out of 5

    C

    A helpful biblical guide to achieving contentment. Watson draws from Philippians 4:11 ("I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content") and many other passages of Scripture. It's somewhat repetitive, but to view that as a positive, it reinforces the lessons. This book differs from others about contentment because it doesn't just tell you how you can become content, in case you want to; it shows from the Bible that discontent is a sin, and we must extract it from our lives and replace it wi A helpful biblical guide to achieving contentment. Watson draws from Philippians 4:11 ("I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content") and many other passages of Scripture. It's somewhat repetitive, but to view that as a positive, it reinforces the lessons. This book differs from others about contentment because it doesn't just tell you how you can become content, in case you want to; it shows from the Bible that discontent is a sin, and we must extract it from our lives and replace it with contentment. Watson, a Puritan preacher, shows from the Bible that contentment comes from valuing our spiritual wellbeing more than our physical/material wellbeing, and recognizing that God wisely works all things in our lives for our spiritual good (Rom 8:28; Ps 39:9; 34:10), even those things we perceive as negative. I don't completely agree with Watson about waiting for God's providence before acting to change our circumstances. After he gives the caveat, "I do not deny that a Christian may lawfully seek to change his condition: so far as God’s providence guides him, he may follow," he says, "But some men will not follow providence but run before it … If God does not open the door by his providence, they will break it open, and wind themselves out of affliction by sin …" He says a Christian should say, "I will not stir, till God by a clear providence fetches me out … A contented Christian will not move, till like the Israelites he sees a pillar of cloud and fire going before him. … It is good to await God’s leisure and not to extricate ourselves out of trouble, until we see the star of God’s providence pointing out a way to us." Watson points to Acts 16:37 and Lam 3:26. I agree that we must be patient and content while in unpleasant conditions, and not sin in our attempts to escape unpleasant conditions, but what sign does Watson propose that a Christian watch for before acting? We can't follow a pillar of cloud or fire, or a star. Believers may take the initiative to change their conditions, as long as they do so while obeying God's law and being content with the results. Did Jesus and the apostles reject those who came to them for healing, because they took the initiative and didn't stay where they were, waiting for healing to come to them? Notes Epistle to the Reader Contentment comes from not desiring the things you lack. "If there is a blessed life before we come to Heaven, it is the contented life." Do you deserve anything from God? Does He owe you anything? Being discontent is to say you're wiser than God. To the Christian Reader God won't withdraw or withhold anything that would be advantageous to you. You shouldn't long after things God is pleased to deny. Imitate contentment of Jacob (Gen 28:20); Agur (Prov 30:8); Paul (1 Tim 6:8). The Second Branch of the Text You may be sad about your condition while not being distressed or in despair, and still being content (2 Cor 4:8-10). Resolving Some Questions You may ask God to remove our suffering, as long as you're content (Matt 26:39; Jer 20:12; Ps 142:2). A holy complaint is one to God; a discontented complaint is one about God. The Nature of Contentment Contentment lies in the soul, being based on knowing God's love, and doesn't depend on external circumstances. Reasons Pressing to Holy Contentment If a king told a subject, "I'll take care of you," that subject would be content. God has said that to you (Hebrews 13:5). Your circumstances are given to us by God Who, in His wisdom, knows what's best for you (Ps 39:9). If you were in charge of your circumstances, you'd make a mess of your life. "Be content to be at God's disposal." The Third Use: A Persuasion to ContentmentPerhaps God has taken away the cistern that He may give you the more of the spring; He has darkened the starlight, that you may have more of the sunlight. God intends you shall have more of Himself … Look not so much upon a temporal loss as a spiritual gain.God lends things to you, and He can take them back at any time. When He does, be thankful for the time you had them, not discontent at their loss. You're often more discontent about 1 loss than thankful about 100 mercies. Unbelievers have fat of the earth; believers have dew of Heaven. Unbelievers have swampland; believers have springs of living water. Pity, rather than envy, unbelievers for their flourishing (Luke 6:24; Ps 17:13-14). Divine Motives to ContentmentA contented Christian carries heaven with him. For, what is heaven—but that sweet repose and full contentment that the soul shall have in God. In contentment there are the first-fruits of heaven.How can a Christian be content without outward comforts? From God's promises; from knowing that if something is good for us, we'll have it; if something isn't good for us, we won't have it. (Ps 34:10) Contentment prevents sins and temptations, such as impatience and murmuring. Discontentment is like 1st link of chain which draws others with it. Love takes everything in the best sense; it endures all things (1 Cor 13:7). By loving God, you can be patient with the circumstances He gives you. When you recognize how great your sins are, you're amazed that your circumstances aren't worse. Discontentment can lead to atheism, because you think that worshipping God isn't getting you the life you want. Murmuring is quarreling, protesting, rebelling against God, saying you deserve better from Him, and that He should have been wiser (Num 21:5).I have little in hand, but much in hope; my livelihood is short, but this is his promise, even eternal life; I am persecuted by malice, but better is persecuted godliness, than prosperous wickedness.Recognize that you have more than you deserve.My cross is light in regard of the weight of glory. Has God taken away my comforts from me? It is well, the Comforter still abides. Thus contentment, as a honeycomb, drops sweetness into every condition. But discontent is a leaven which sours every comfort … it lessens every mercy and triples every cross. But the contented spirit sucks sweetness from every flower of providence; it can make something sweet out of poison. Contentment is full of consolation.God may take things away from you if He sees that you love them too much. Perhaps the better your material condition would've been, the worse your spiritual state would've been. God may have been preventing some sin or exercising some grace. Hasn't God given you Christ? Never complain as long as Christ is your friend. Christ is more valuable than all material things. Don't complain about lacking material things; you have Christ, the one necessary thing (Luke 10:42; Ps 16:5). You're heir to God's promises, have a foretaste of Heaven, and sure of eternal life. Aren't these enough for contentment? "Shall we be discontented at that which is for our good?" See Rom 8:28. God uses circumstances to remove your pride. Be content to be humbled and repentant. God uses afflictions to help you be more spiritually fruitful. Discontent is rooted in pride, envy, covetousness, jealousy, unbelief. When you're proud, you think you're better than others, and you find fault with God's wisdom in not making your conditions better than others'. By being discontent, you increase your suffering by 1) feeling your condition more keenly and 2) inviting God's chastisement for your discontent. "A Christian of right temper should be ever cheerful in God." See Ps 100:2. "The way for a man to be contented is not by raising his estate higher, but by bringing his heart lower." Rules About Contentment God is yours; whatever you lack in life is definitely made up in Him. Inordinate desires are evil (Col 3:5).Get much of heaven into your heart. Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven that is in us, the less earth will content. When a person has once tasted the love of God, (Ps 63:5) his thirst is much quenched toward earthly things."Do not pour upon your losses, but ponder your mercies." Soldiers don't complain about hard conditions, and neither should Christians, who are soldiers for Christ (2 Tim 2:3). Live as a pilgrim, getting by on little, knowing that you'll have more than enough when you arrive in your own country (Heaven). Compare your condition with what you deserve: Hell. Compare your condition with those whose conditions are worse than yours, not better. Compare your condition with Christ's during His time on earth; He was content to live poor that we might die rich (2 Cor 8:9). Compare your condition with what it was when you were born, having nothing (1 Tim 6:7; Job 1:21). Compare your spiritual state with what it was before you were saved, when you were Hell-bound. Be contented by thinking of your salvation. Be contented by thinking of the privileges included in being a child of God. When you're discontent, pray and tell God about your sorrows and cares, which brings contentment.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Molly Atchison

    Good little book. My average rating has more to do with the style of writing style than with the content. As much as I appreciated the truths conveyed, it was difficult enough to read that I struggled to follow many of the facets of contentment he showcased. I may need to get more accustomed with the Puritan vernacular so I can follow along better. 🙂 Overall, it was a good exercise in considering the deeper implications of sin (discontent) in an area I tend not to give much thought to because my Good little book. My average rating has more to do with the style of writing style than with the content. As much as I appreciated the truths conveyed, it was difficult enough to read that I struggled to follow many of the facets of contentment he showcased. I may need to get more accustomed with the Puritan vernacular so I can follow along better. 🙂 Overall, it was a good exercise in considering the deeper implications of sin (discontent) in an area I tend not to give much thought to because my own sense of entitlement blinds me to its offense against God. But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. -Psalm 115:3 The Lord is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. -Psalm 145:17

  20. 5 out of 5

    William

    I should be content. Watson expounds upon this idea in a way most would not stop to ponder beyond the fact of either being content or not. Watson provides much to ponder. This edition is written in modern English, translated from the old English of the 1660 original. While this edition has been edited into a format that is easy to follow, the author’s efficient use of language remains. These are a compilation of multiple sermons yet in a flowing narrative style. Watson quotes extensively from th I should be content. Watson expounds upon this idea in a way most would not stop to ponder beyond the fact of either being content or not. Watson provides much to ponder. This edition is written in modern English, translated from the old English of the 1660 original. While this edition has been edited into a format that is easy to follow, the author’s efficient use of language remains. These are a compilation of multiple sermons yet in a flowing narrative style. Watson quotes extensively from the Bible, as one would expect, yet he also provides examples from a classic education, which demonstrate a very well-educated man. Most interesting and timeless. I am content.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marcella Chatham

    This was an incredible read. I recommend listening to it on audiobook as it was much easier for me to follow along that way. I especially loved all of chapter 10 and all of the examples Watson gave to how we are prone to discontent in ways we may not even realize. He makes a clear point that the sin of discontent makes way for many other sins to abound so to be extra cautious and aware of the discontent that may be residing in our own hearts. "Be content; if God dam up our outward comforts, it is This was an incredible read. I recommend listening to it on audiobook as it was much easier for me to follow along that way. I especially loved all of chapter 10 and all of the examples Watson gave to how we are prone to discontent in ways we may not even realize. He makes a clear point that the sin of discontent makes way for many other sins to abound so to be extra cautious and aware of the discontent that may be residing in our own hearts. "Be content; if God dam up our outward comforts, it is, that the stream of our love may run faster another way."

  22. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    There are many Puritan treatments of the subject of contentment, as much lacking in Christian experience then as it is now. One real advantage of this book, as compared to some of the others, is that Watson is one of the most accessible of the Puritan writers. He is as easy to read now as he was then. The book is to be much commended in total, but I found Chapter 11 to be perhaps the most helpful. In it, Watson deals with a number of common defenses for discontentment. His answers are searching There are many Puritan treatments of the subject of contentment, as much lacking in Christian experience then as it is now. One real advantage of this book, as compared to some of the others, is that Watson is one of the most accessible of the Puritan writers. He is as easy to read now as he was then. The book is to be much commended in total, but I found Chapter 11 to be perhaps the most helpful. In it, Watson deals with a number of common defenses for discontentment. His answers are searching and cut deep to the roots from which discontentment grows. Highly recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ValeReads Kyriosity

    I read this aloud with someone else over a period of a few months. It was great to be able to stop and think through and discuss with another person along the way. I will never be content to read a book on my own again. ;-)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shannon McDermott

    A very good book. Its flaws are very Puritan, but by the same token, it corrects modern flaws. It was refreshing to read an author who reckons life against eternity and doesn't think the end of the game is our Best Life Now. A very good book. Its flaws are very Puritan, but by the same token, it corrects modern flaws. It was refreshing to read an author who reckons life against eternity and doesn't think the end of the game is our Best Life Now.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Giles

    Far from comforting— most of the book was me wishing Watson wasn't right but knowing that my resistance was probably a sign that he was. Definitely a book I'll need to return to time and again. Far from comforting— most of the book was me wishing Watson wasn't right but knowing that my resistance was probably a sign that he was. Definitely a book I'll need to return to time and again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jemima

    A diamond among the jewels of Puritan writings. In my mental catalogue, it has easily slid itself into the top spot under Puritan literature. Reading Puritan writing is worthwhile but getting through the language can be laborious. Not this one. I will go back to this work again and again. It is succinct, written with simplicity and insight. Note to self - buy extra copies! Watson is like the Emily Dickinson of devotional writing. He sees spiritual truths in the most mundane of daily moments. For A diamond among the jewels of Puritan writings. In my mental catalogue, it has easily slid itself into the top spot under Puritan literature. Reading Puritan writing is worthwhile but getting through the language can be laborious. Not this one. I will go back to this work again and again. It is succinct, written with simplicity and insight. Note to self - buy extra copies! Watson is like the Emily Dickinson of devotional writing. He sees spiritual truths in the most mundane of daily moments. For example, he talks about the dullness of fire hidden behind embers to capture the idea that grace is stirred up in affliction. In another place, he speaks of the attractiveness of the wings of a butterfly that soil our fingers to illustrate the draw and effects of worldly temptation. Contentment is more than material. It is also exercised in the midst of loss, rejection, failure and disappointment. Watson reminds us that at the core we all have the same struggles and that true satisfaction for all generations, in all times and under every circumstance can only be found in our all-sufficient Savior. I found myself praying my way through this book, pleading for grace, endurance and mercy as I run the race set before me. There are way too many quotes that I want to go back to. For starters: He is not a contented man who is so only on occasion, like when he is pleased, but who is so continually. It is the habit and complexion of his soul. God’s providence, which is nothing but the fulfillment of His decree, should be a guarantee and an opposing force against discontent. In His wisdom, God has set us in our current station Parents can only be guides to show their children the way to heaven; the Spirit of God must be a magnet to draw their hearts into that way. Reproach motivates us to search out our sin. A child of God works to read his sin in every stone of reproach that is cast at him. When there is much counterfeit metal abroad, we prize the true gold the more; pure wine of truth is never more precious, than when unsound doctrines are broached and vented. It is better that God approves—than man applauds. The world may honor us—and God put us in his black book! A carnal spirit makes more of his sufferings—and less of his sins; he looks upon one at the great end of the telescope—but upon the other at the little end of the telescope. The carnal heart cries out, "Take away my af liction!" But a gracious heart cries out, "Take away my iniquity!" (2 Sa. 24:10) The one says, "Never has anyone suf ered as I have done!" But the other says, "Never has anyone sinned as I have done!" (Mi. 7:7) When there is much counterfeit metal abroad, we prize the true gold the more; pure wine of truth is never more precious, than when unsound doctrines are broached and vented. God sometimes makes brazen sinners to be brazen walls to defend his people. Experience in religion, is better than notions; and heart impressions are beyond vocal expressions. Judas (no doubt) could make a learned discourse on Christ—but well-fared the woman in the gospel, who felt virtue coming out of Christ, (Lu. 8:47). A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue! There is as much difference between gifts and graces, as between a tulip painted on the wall, and one growing in the garden! In prayer it is not so much fluency which prevails—as fervency, (Ja. 5:16) nor is God so much taken with the elegance of speech, as the ef icacy of the Spirit That sorrow for sin which drives us away from God, is sinful—for there is more despair in it than remorse; the soul has so many tears in its eyes, that it cannot see Christ! Sorrow, as sorrow, does not save, that were to make a Christ of our tears! A discontented Christian is like a rough tempestuous sea; when the water is rough you can see nothing there; but when it is smooth and serene, then you may behold your face in the water. Wicked men are often disquieted in the enjoyment of all things. But the contented Christian is joyful in the lack of all things! A Christian finds contentment distilled out of the breasts of the promises. He is poor in purse—but rich in promise. There is one promise that brings much sweet contentment into the soul: "Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." (Psalm 34:10) If the thing we desire is good for us—we shall have it. If it is not good, then the not having is good for us. The resting satisfied with the promise gives contentment. Discontent takes the heart wholly off from God, and fixes it upon the present trouble, so that a man's mind is not upon his prayer—but upon his trouble. Contentment is the spiritual pillar of the soul. It fits a man to bear burdens. He who has a contented heart—is invincible under sufferings. A contented Christian is like the camomile, the more it is trodden upon—the more it grows. The way for a man to be contented, is not by raising his estate higher—but by bringing his heart lower! Impatience is no small sin; as will appear if you consider whence it arises. It is for lack of faith. Faith gives a right notion of God; it is an intelligent grace; it believes that God's wisdom tempers— and his love sweetens all ingredients. This works patience. Discontent is a leaven which sours every comfort; it puts vinegar into every mercy, it doubles every cross. But the contented spirit sucks sweetness from every flower of providence; it can make poison into a choice morsel. Contentment is full of consolation. For a man to be able to rule his own spirit—this of all others, is the most noble conquest. It is good that men be known; some serve God for a livery; they are like the fisherman, who makes use of the net, only to catch the fish; so they go a-fishing with the net of religion, only to catch preferment: affliction discovers these. Hypocrites will fail in a storm, true grace holds out in the winter-season. True faith trusts God where it cannot trace Him; it trusts in God’s promises, though it has nothing in view. The discontented person thinks everything he does for God is too much, and everything that God does for him is too little. The consideration of the shortness of life can help the heart to be content. Remember that you are only here a day, having such a short way to go. Why do you need so many provisions for such a short way? If a traveler has only enough to bring him to his journey’s end, he desires no more. We have only a day to live, and perhaps we might be in the twelfth hour of that day. If God gives us only enough to manage our responsibilities until night, it is sufficient; let us be content. Death begins a wicked man's hell. Death ends a godly man's hell. Blessed is the trouble that brings the soul to Christ. Contentment is something more than patience because patience denotes only submission; contentment denotes cheerfulness. A gracious heart sees mercy in every circumstance; therefore, his heart is conditioned for thankfulness. He who knows God is his, knows that all that is in God is for his good. And if this does not satisfy him, I know nothing that will. Why are we discontent at the loss of these things? It is because we expect something from them that they cannot give, and we rest in them, which we should not do! Every crosswind will, at last, blow me to the right port.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Rodriguez

    Simple. Short. Full of biblical wisdom and insight concerning contentment. Watson shows the seriousness of the sin of discontent, and gives helpful reasons and advice on how to learn contentment. I will probably be rereading this again very soon. Also, kudos to Soli Deo Gloria Publications on the overall quality of the book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Todd Price

    Wonderful book. One of my all-time favorites! I hope to read it every year.

  29. 4 out of 5

    JD Veer

    Honestly, it is a must read. Much wisdom and maturity found in there. I listened to it (audiobook) which made it hard to delimit the sections (it would have been a great help). Highly recommend

  30. 4 out of 5

    B

    The content of Thomas Watson's The Art of Divine Contentment is biblical and edifying. On the subject of contentment, I still prefer the in-depth look found in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. Thomas Watson gives a briefer overview: "In a word, a contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God's disposal, and cheerfully lives in whatever circumstances that God has placed him in," (~p.57). Unfortunately, The A The content of Thomas Watson's The Art of Divine Contentment is biblical and edifying. On the subject of contentment, I still prefer the in-depth look found in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. Thomas Watson gives a briefer overview: "In a word, a contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God's disposal, and cheerfully lives in whatever circumstances that God has placed him in," (~p.57). Unfortunately, The Art of Divine Contentment (ISBN 1499323344) published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform has not been edited very well. There are many grammatical errors throughout this short book: misspelling, improper punctuation, missing words, and incomplete sentences. Also, there are no page numbers and the layout is not appealing. It would have been useful if the publisher had used the Arabic numbers and Roman numerals within the text to help the reader follow Mr. Watson's arguments. After the first two pages, it was difficult to continue reading this edition because of the blatant editing errors. First, the Amazon.com book description does not indicate that this edition is updated with modern language and with modern Bible versions. The Puritan Thomas Watson lived in the 17th century, so he would be quoting from the King James Bible. However, the first two pages quote 5 different Bible translations, and two modern Bible verses directly quoted are misquoted because the word 'your' has been changed to 'our'. A direct quote should use the exact words. In addition, there's a missing word in the sentence on the first page: "The in the Greek...", and there are two incorrect Bible references on the second page: Ez. 12:1 should be Ez. 12:19 and 1 Cor. 4:4 should be 2 Cor. 4:4. It should be noted that the editing problems are even noticeable in the publisher's book comments on the website: "This is one of Watson's most treasured works, and shares equal billing with Jeremiah Burrough's [sic] classic The Rare Jewel of Christian Continent [sic]. It was first published in a lithograph of a 19th century edition, but the publishers were compelled to retypest [sic] that work and publish it in an entirely new book so as to give an even broader readership [sic]" Three spelling errors and one missing punctuation in only two sentences! Given the obvious errors on just the first two pages, I have no confidence that I'm reading what Thomas Watson actually wrote on the subject of divine contentment. I recommend reading The Art of Divine Contentment, but I strongly recommend avoiding this edition. *** "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," (1 Cor. 10:31).

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