Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalm 62:8
It is the indispensable duty of believers at all times to trust in the Lord alone. This holy confidence can be tuned to the highest notes on the musical scale. A confident soul moves in a higher orbit than other saints and leads the band of heaven’s militia. Patience is hope lengthened and confidence is faith strengthened. The elixir of faith carries with it courage and fortitude, and is the opposite of carnal fear and despondency of spirit. Blessed is that man, though attacked on all sides, that has maintained his ground with firmness. He has exhausted the devil’s quiver of all its arrows and yet exhibits no symptoms of surrendering. On the contrary, he does not recede a single footstep from the favourable position that he has previously occupied (Isa. 12:2). Thus, David undaunted said, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psa. 27:1). His confidence in God quietly extinguished in his heart the base, sneaking fear of man. Holy confidence stole the heart of Joseph of Arimathea to go in boldly and beg the body of Jesus (Mark 15:43). David encountered Goliath, and took the bear by the teeth and the lion by the beard. Let a believer make God his trust and, but once know his duty, it is enough; he will with a courageous and undaunted mind cheerfully undertake it and commit both himself and his success to God. What are the effects of a holy trust? A fervent, effectual, constant prayer to God; a sincere, universal, spiritual, cheerful, constant obedience to God. They that expect to enjoy what God promises will be sure to perform what God commands; and even now will experience a soul-ravishing joy. If the Lord is our trust and strength, he will surely be our joy and song.
Dr. Packer has had a long-standing passion for the Puritans. Their understanding of God and His ways with man has largely formed his own spirituality and theological outlook. In A Quest for Godliness, the esteemed author of Knowing God and a dozen other books shares with his readers the rich world of Puritanism that has been so influential in his own life.
Dr. Packer masterfully uncovers the hidden treasures of Puritan life and thought. With crystalline clarity he reveals the depth and breadth of Puritan spiritual life, contrasting it with the superficiality and deadness of modern Western Christianity.
Drawing on a lifetime of study, Dr. Packer takes the reader on a survey of the lives and teachings of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. He offers a close look at such subjects as the Puritan view of the Bible, spiritual gifts, the Sabbath, worship, social action, and the family. He concludes that a main difference between the Puritans and ourselves is spiritual maturity–the Puritans had it; we don’t.
In a time of failing vision and decaying values, this powerful portrait of Puritans is a beacon of hope that calls us to radical commitment and action when both are desperately needed.
A Quest for Godliness is a profoundly moving and challenging exploration of Puritan life and thought in a beautifully written book. Here is J. I. Packer at his very best.