The following quotes are from Erik Raymond’s new book, Chasing Contentment: Trusting God in a Discontented Age (Crossway, 2017) [review]. Thanks to Tony Reinke for inspiring the 20 quotes idea.

“Contentment is far more powerful than a change of circumstances. Instead of being sourced on the outside and subject to changing circumstances, biblical contentment comes from within and endures through the spectrum of circumstances.” (25)

“God is the object and the model of contentment. He is content in himself, and he shows us that the only way to find contentment is in him.” (37)

“Any attempt to understand contentment must begin with God. As the only uncreated being, he is the only one who is not dependent upon someone or something else. He is entirely self-sufficient.” (37)

“Contentment is elusive because sin is pervasive.” (42)

“Contentment is the abiding ‘Amen’ of our joy. It speaks in the present tense, saying: ‘I am tasting and I am seeing that the Lord is good.’” (46)

“To relativize sin is to deflate mercy. This type of thinking erodes contentment.” (56)

“If you are having a hard time being content, make a list of everything you have that you don’t deserve, and then make a list of everything you deserve that you don’t have.” (62)

“If contentment is learned by resting in what we cannot see, discontentment results from seeking rest in physical things.” (86–87)

“Shiny wrappers catch the eye, but our souls are fed not by what is seen and perishing (1 John 2:17) but what is unseen and eternal (2 Cor. 4:18).” (93)

“A content person is able to sit quietly under the reassuring affirmation of God. The Lord is his or her sufficiency.” (94)

“The Bible shows us that the natural impulse of the fallen nature is to crave self at the expense of God, while the new natures craves God as the fulfillment of self.” (95)

“The heart of the matter is that when we ourselves determine what will satisfy, we don’t pursue what brings true satisfaction. The broken compass within us always leads to the dumpster rather than the five-star restaurant.” (98)

“To see your need of Christ and his willingness to save you creates an explosion of happiness in the soul.” (107)

“Heaven is so happy because those who are there have come to see, without any impediments or weights of sin, that God is their all in all. In heaven there is eternal delight without the things we so often chase after.” (107)

“Most people say they’d be happy if they could just have more. But God often makes us content not by giving us more stuff or relationships but by giving us more humility and trust.” (110)

“We cannot be content in the present when we are nursing bitterness about the past. We are basically saying God failed us.” (126)

“Instead of interpreting God’s character in light of our circumstances, we must do the opposite and interpret our circumstances in light of God’s character.” (127)

“There are no wasted hardships with God.” (127)

“It is a simple formula really: If you want to be content, think less about yourself and more about Christ.” (159)

“When we are content, we ‘spy mercy in every condition’ and have our hearts laminated with thanksgiving.” (164)

Previously in the “20 Quotes” series: