The Rarest Jewel
Four years ago, the Pink Star Diamond, a 59.6 carat behemoth, sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $83 million dollars — nearly $1.3 million per carat!
Enthusiasts labelled it the world’s most prized and rare jewel.
As we know, the rarer something is, the more precious and priceless it becomes.
Four hundred years ago, a minister named Jeremiah Burroughs wrote about another jewel — one so precious, so rare, that men and women and children everywhere, for centuries, have hunted for this jewel vigorously.
You and I are still hunting it for it too. And it’s exhausting.
The “jewel” Burroughs spoke about was “contentment.”
In his great sermon, “The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment,” Burroughs defined this most precious find as “that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to - and delights in - God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”
In other words, Jesus changes the way His people think about the controlling power that circumstances and stuff have over His beloved.
Christ goal, it seems, is to lead His precious people to places and moments in their lives where slowly, but surely we learn to say, “God is enough.”
Oh, how precious would it be to look life in the face and with an exhale of confidence say, “My Father is good. I am satisfied.”
Unfortunately, we resemble our first parents more than we’d like. I mean, if they were convinced that Eden — the most satisfying, pleasurable, delightful, fulfilling gift ever beheld was not enough — how well do you think we will fair?
But Jesus lived and died to redeem our constant, tiring search for meaning, purpose, hope, and comfort. His death and resurrection were the guarantee of new life now, and truer life to come.
The Apostle Paul learned how to apply this truth to real life. To one church, he wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance — whether in much or little.” He wrote about himself because the people in that church were fighting with one another — jockeying for reputation, significance, power, and influence - and it was eating them and their witness alive. What would cause such hot-tempered, competitive rivalry? They had not learned to be content in Christ.
But look at Paul’s encouragement again. He had to “learn” contentment. Don’t you love that the Holy Apostle Paul, just like us, had to “learn” contentment. Not even the holiest of Christians come programmed with this gift; no one inherits this rare jewel; Jesus teaches it to His followers.
But how had Paul learned contentment? Prison. Paul went to prison. That’s where he wrote his sermon about contentment - prison!
Is it possible, that God allows us to follow our twisted hearts just far enough to experience DIScontent in order to to help His children discover the joy of TRUE Content?
Think about the goals, longings, ambitions, disappointments, setbacks, anxieties, horizons, escapes that fill your daydreams today even as you read this.
Now think about our church’s monthly memory verse: “Jesus answered - I am THE Way, and THE truth, and THE Life.”
Will we believe Jesus is telling the truth?
Oh Lord, I pray you will help me learn, and be more aware, that "more or less" is not the measure of a good life - but your presence, your provision, your promise are. You are enough, Father. You are enough. Lead me away from my cubic zirconium pursuits as you lead me to that precious, rare jewel of Christian contentment found only in, through, from, and by Christ Jesus, my Lord. Amen.
More in ReSTORY
June 27, 2017The Gospel Changes Everything
February 6, 2017True Spirituality: The Transforming Power of the Gospel
January 2, 2017Finding Happiness In The New Year