by Mike Ratliff
8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NASB)
We are the clay in the potter’s hands. He is the one who designs and completes us. We work with Him in our sanctification, but it is all according to His plan and good work in us. I have good days and bad days, but rarely do I have an in between day. On those bad days in which we come close to “losing it” aren’t we really blaming God for giving us a day like that? When we react this way with extreme frustration it is as if we are angry with God for allowing us to go through a little stress. Isn’t this God’s way of showing what is really in our hearts by squeezing us a little to see what comes out? When we see that ugliness come forth from within us aren’t we seeing that we are not as content as we thought we were?
Where does godly contentment come from? Martin Luther says that it comes from God.
25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? 26 For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 2:25-26 (NASB)
by Martin Luther
“Whenever someone is able to feel content with what they have, it’s a gift from God. God gives those who please him contentment without having to strive for it. God sees only two kinds of people: those who are faithful and those who are sinners. Besides the gifts he gives to all people, God gives wisdom and discretion to the faithful. On top of that, he adds joy. The faithful are content with what they have and are not tormented by the same kind of thoughts and desires sinners have. They go about their business with joy and peace.
On the other hand, sinners are always troubled. They are preoccupied with gathering and storing up wealth, but they’re never satisfied. Even if they’ve been given wisdom and skill, so many difficulties are mixed in with these gifts that they feel more like punishment. Sinners don’t enjoy their work, whether it’s farming or building—even though others enjoy doing these things and find happiness in them. What sinners produce cannot be used in the right way by anyone except those who have God’s approval. So whatever sinners accumulate belongs to those who have God’s approval. The faithful know how to use God’s gifts with joy and thanksgiving, even when they have very little.
But sinners don’t even use what they have, in spite of all the trouble they go through to accumulate their possessions. In the end, faithful people truly own the whole world because they enjoy it with happiness and contentment. Even when they possess a lot, sinners have nothing. That’s how pointless their lives are.”
Soli Deo Gloria!