I will bless the LORDat all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
Can a child of God in any sense give thanks for sin? No, one properly, because: (1.) Sin is detestable (Ezek. 5:11) and accursed (Gal. 3:10). (2.) Since we may not ‘sin that grace may abound’, nor ‘do evil that good may come’ (Rom. 6:1; 3:8), so, sin cannot be the ground of thanksgiving since it is contrary to the honour, image, and will of God. (3.) Sin is not by God’s making. It is a plague and the subject of sorrow and shame. Nevertheless, improperly, occasionally and consequently, as men speak, sin is a ground for thanksgiving. How? Because, the Lord by his unlimited power, can so master sin, and by his infinitely wise providence permit, dispose of, and bind sin, and by his free grace, pardon sin, yea, he can make grace super-abound where sin did abound; calling light out of darkness, and making great sinners to become great saints. Out of sin God can lay a foundation for infinite glory to himself. Pilate, Judas and the Jews are not to be praised for their treachery against Christ, although they did fulfill and execute God’s decrees in these events. No man must thank sin, or blame God for sin, even though he extracted the antidote out of this viper. Since the Lord demonstrates his glory in overruling and pardoning sin, to the salvation of poor sinners, there is good reason to magnify him to the highest. Since we have dishonoured God very much by our sin, it is important that we now adore him for his grace in fetching a pearl out of this dunghill, and set off his glory. Thankfulness is pleasing to God, not only in good days, but in bad. This is the best sacrifice and gift we can offer to God. Mr. Bradford, a martyr, speaking of Queen Mary, at whose mercy he lay said; ‘If she releases, imprisons, or burns me, I will thank her. Let God do with me as he wills, I will be thankful.’
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.