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.