The Secret of Contentment
Barcley, William B.
“Reading these pages I felt my soul being addressed by a wise and godly pastor as to a besetting sin of mine – and yours, I suspect. Discontentment abounds; it’s a product of the materialistic, superficial world in which we live. And yet, it is not the only world in which Christians live: our union with Christ implies we live “in Christ” as well as in this or that zip code. Bill Barcley combines the best of scholarship, a keen pastoral sensitivity and an ability to “get under your skin” and apply the Scriptures where it is needed. This is biblical truth at its most searching. Read it – but only if Jesus–likeness is what you really desire.See All
Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC
“My friend, Bill Barcley, has done the American Church a great service in writing The Secret of Contentment. Drawing upon Paul’s epistles, the writings of the Puritans, and many poignant and precious stories of life, Dr. Barclay has placed his finger on the hallow spot of the American soul. Exposing the futility of everything worthless, from crass consumerism to the emptiness of every child getting a trophy, Bill has laid bare our national sin: discontentment. This seasoned pastor and able New Testament scholar skillfully shows us that we already possess all we need for contentment in Jesus Christ. I cannot recommend enough this modern “jewel of Christian contentment”. Read it. Answer its discussion questions. Practice its principles. Pass it on to a friend. And, while you’re at it, thank Bill Barclay for this tonic for the soul.”See All
“Christians have a great opportunity to demonstrate a spirit of contentment and inner satisfaction to a world, to a world that, as Bill Barcley says, has greatly increased in outward wealth, while at the same time greatly decreasing in personal satisfaction. This insightful volume conveys in a crystal-clear and convincing way crucial insights from Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (often called ‘the epistle of joy’). Although he is in the line of some of the great Puritans who wrote on contentment, Bill Barcley speaks in our modern language in a very realistic and humble manner. He breaks the nourishing bread of contentment in portions that normal Christian people can assimilate without being choked or frightened away. A serious engagement with what he says should assist us in being dominated by the tyranny of changing circumstances. I particularly appreciated his fourth chapter, which properly distinguised between sinful discontent and proper dissatisfaction for Christians. His comments are realistic about suffering, and helpfully relate our sufferings to those of Christ (chapter five), and shines cheering light on the enjoyment that comes in our union with Christ (chapter eight). I warmly commend this practical manual of happy living in an often hard world.”See All
&ndash Douglas Kelly
Reformed Theological Seminary
“Planted in Philippians and watered with Puritan wisdom, this handbook on cultivating contentment unlocks one of the secrets of spiritual health and happiness. A rewarding study.”See All
J I Packer
Source: Sermon Audio
The temptation to e discontent is everywhere. Advertisements bombard us, feeding our dissatisfaction by telling us we are incomplete and unfulfilled. And yet the seeds of discontentment are already preset in our own sinful hearts.
Almost four hundred years ago Jeremiah Burroughs wrote of the “rare jewel” of Christian contentment. If it was a rarity in the days of the Puritans, how much more is this true today!
William Barcley addresses the heart of the matter—the discontent that lies within. Based in the writings of Jeremiah Burroughs and Thomas Watson, he presents afresh these great Puritan’s meditations on contentment for a modern audience. Above all, he seeks the wisdom of Paul, who declared that he had found the “mystery” or the “secret” of being content. Contentment must be learned, and Barcley reveals the secret, calling us to a contentment that comes from knowing God and delighting in his sovereign goodness and fatherly care.
Contentment must be learned, and Barcley reveals the secret, calling us to a contentment that comes from knowing God and delighting in his sovereign goodness and fatherly care