Book Review: The Secret of Contentment

William Barcley is the pastor of Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has served as Academic Dean at Reformed Theological Seminary and taught at Gordon College. Barcley addresses the issue of discontent and how the reader can find contentment from knowing God and enjoying his sovereignty and loving mercy.

Barcley does a fine job outlining a heart condition that frequently accompanies greater theological concern. As we demonstrate discontent we are calling into play a questioning of God’s sovereignty. How could we not be content if we truly understand and embrace God’s plan and perfect orchestration of his will in our lives?

It is natural for humans to complain and be discontented. It is part of our sin nature. Our murmuring, however, is a clear sign we are not satisfied with an aspect of our life. We are either out of God’s will or lack an understanding of the depth of his sovereignty.

A believer who truly rests in God finds contentment in the joy of God and being conformed to the image of Christ. Contentment does not mean our lives are painless and exactly as we foresaw them. Contentment means we find pleasure in knowing God is in control and his flawless will is unfolding, even if it is not our ideal plan.

The book is ideal for group study with subsections and discussion questions following each chapter. Barcley uses Scripture, tales and personal accounts to guide the reader into a deeper understanding of the joy and peace that can be found in our contentment.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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