Contentment Is the Key To Discerning the Divine Activity

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 50

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

–Psalm 16:5-6 (ESV)

The divine activity is what you want to see. In all things, it is what you should rejoice in, in the smallest of things and in the greatest. And this activity is never missing; it is given to you, in its entirety, at each moment. And so, you use all things, not having confidence in the things themselves, but submitting to the divine order, and to that inner working that you find in all things with equal ease and certainty, even when appearances are to the contrary. This is how you spend your life, not in searchings and longings, not in discouragement and complaining, but in the continual assurance that you possess the most perfect of all things.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

As you seek to discern the divine activity at work in the world around you, contentment is the key. Contentment is also the proof that you have discerned the divine activity, in the same way that the key to your house is both access to the house and a sign that it is indeed your house.

Psalm 16 expresses this in the language of a man who has inherited some land. As he surveys the property and its borders, he is happy with it. He feels blessed to have inherited such a good land.

The difference in your case is that your inheritance is always changing, and you are always going out to survey it. Yet your reaction never changes. You are always pleased with what you see—as long as you can discern the divine activity, and not see it as just another empty, pointless moment of life.

Contentment is the key; discern by contentment. And take this contentment as far as you can. Rejoice as if you are the luckiest person alive. As you do so, contentment will also be your reward, and the evidence that you have accurately judged the spiritual value of your inheritance.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.