It is now pretty much accepted that the presentation by Shakespeare of Richard III was a literary necessity more than being historically accurate. There has of course been a lot about W.S. in the news and on T.V. lately. I can’t say that I particularly like Shakespeare but I found myself these days having a greater appreciation than when I was a pupil in Secondary School and may indeed become a fan in years to come. The famous, “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer…” soliloquy is indeed spell binding. Richard’s contentment has come about because of the outworking of his villainy, a villainy which though devilish is often cloaked in false saintliness when it is helpful to his cause. Things are heading in the right way, in his mind, which basically means things are progressing from the crown for his family in the person of his brother Edward, toward the crown for him himself once he has committed a few murders. “Contentment” is a theme that comes up too in “Henry VI.” Henry says simply, “I am content,” which seems to be a state he is happy with as King.
When are you or I content? That says a lot about where we are spiritually. Does our contentment depend on things going our way? Can we be content when things are not going in the way we had hoped or planned?
How many lives could be transformed, marriages saved, family life renewed, churches set at peace if more could say with Paul, “I have discovered the secret of being content.” It was a secret that worked in good days and trying days, in days of plenty and days of lack. Paul’s contentment was unshakable. It did not depend on the cleverness of his devices, his skill at handling or manipulating friends and enemies in like manner to Richard III. It did not depend on things going his way. It depended on a simple, quiet and proven principle; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ( Why not read about this in Philippians Chapter 4 verses 12 and 13.)
It matters not whether things go what you might consider “your way” this day. You can be happy, content, when they do not because you are living in Paul’s shared and open secret.
May you and I be content this day, by the grace of God.
P.S – You are very welcome to enjoy these blogs and share them with anyone “without money or price!” However, if you ever feel grateful for these blogs and are able to do so, then please make a donation to Open Doors, Scotland. Their website is
In case you have not heard of them, Open Doors works to help our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.