In Chasing Contentment, Erik Raymond delves into the topic of contentment and how Christians can be truly content in their lives. The author first begins in explaining why we are endlessly seeking satisfaction and why contentment is so elusive. He then moves on to show that God is the ultimate source of our contentment by defining His character and attributes along with an analysis of the creation narrative to show that God created us to find our contentment in Him. However, alike the sin our first parents committed, we fail to seek contentment in God Himself but look for satisfaction and joy in created things that are only poor reflections of the Creator. In His love, God provides the solution to our longing by sending His Son who conquers Satan, sin, and death thereby restoring our distorted relationship with God. In doing so, through Christ, we can once again find our greatest pleasure in God as the One who creates, sustains, and provides for all that we can ever want or need. In the second half of the book, Raymond discusses how to move towards contentment as we await the day when we can fully enjoy God forever. He includes many illustrations and examples from his pastoral experience along with practical recommendations such as Bible reading and prayer. Along with basing his arguments on Scripture, the author also references many classic hymns, poems, and authors to encourage readers to find their contentment in Christ alone.
I would recommend this book to all who are struggling to find contentment in their lives. In our contemporary culture, we want everything and we want it right away. This way of thinking is distinctly opposite and opposed to what the Bible teaches us about how we should view our lives here on earth. Instead of hoarding what pertains to fleshly desires, we are to take hold of what God has given us and use all of it to glorify Him. Raymond reminds us that contentment is not unreachable but rather, it is readily available to those who find their complete satisfaction in God. We come to this satisfaction by first taking hold of Christ as the One who saves us and reconciles us to God. Moreover, we can immerse ourselves in the means of grace He provides us such as the local church community and spiritual disciplines to keep us steady in the present as we look forward to eternity where we will be perfectly content in God’s presence.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a review copy of this book from Crossway.