“The never-failing springs of covenant grace” by John Owen

“Besides the continual supplies of grace that constantly, according to the tenure of the covenant, are communicated unto believers, which keeps them that they thirst no more as to a total indigence, there is, moreover, a readiness in the Lord Christ to yield peculiar succour to the souls of His, according as their occasions shall require.

The apostle tells us that He is ‘a merciful High Priest,’ and ‘able’ (that is, ready, prepared, and willing) ‘to succour them that are tempted,’ (Heb. 2:18); and we are on that account invited to ‘come with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,’ (Heb. 4:16)—that is, grace sufficient, seasonable, suitable unto any especial trial or temptation that we may be exercised withal.

Our merciful High Priest is ready to give out this especial seasonable grace over and above those constant communications of supplies of the Spirit which we mentioned before.

Besides the never-failing springs of ordinary covenant grace, He hath also peculiar refreshing showers for times of drought; and this is exceedingly to the advantage of the saints for their preservation and growth in grace.”

–John Owen, “Indwelling Sin in Believers,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 6: Temptation and Sin (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2009), 6: 288.

“There is mercy and never-failing compassion in God” by John Owen

“There is mercy and never-failing compassion in God, so that though my own present condition be full of darkness, and I see no deliverance, yet I purpose still to abide waiting on Him.

Who knows what those infinite stores and treasures of mercy and relief that are with Him may at length afford unto me? (Lamentations 3:21-23)”

–John Owen, “An Exposition of Psalm 130,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 6: Temptation and Sin (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2009), 6: 417-418.

“Christ is the centre of the mystery of the gospel” by John Owen

“Christ is the centre of the mystery of the gospel, and forgiveness is laid up in the heart of Christ from the love of the Father.

In Him are all the treasures of it hid.

And surely it is no small thing to have the heart of Christ revealed unto us.”

–John Owen, “An Exposition of Psalm 130,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 6: Temptation and Sin (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2009), 6: 403-404.

“The great mystery of the gospel” by John Owen

“This is the great mystery of the gospel in the blood of Christ, that those who sin every day should have peace with God all their days.”

–John Owen, “An Exposition of Psalm 130,” in The Works of John Owen, Volume 6: Temptation and Sin, Ed. William H. Goold (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1668/1967), 339.

“He never speaks in vain” by Charles Spurgeon

“‘And in His word do I hope.’ This is the source, strength, and sweetness of waiting. Those who do not hope cannot wait. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. God’s word is a true word, but at times it tarries.

If ours is true faith it will wait the Lord’s time. A word from the Lord is as bread to the soul of the believer; and, refreshed thereby, it holds out through the night of sorrow expecting the dawn of deliverance and delight.

Waiting, we study the word, believe the word, hope in the word, and live on the word and all because it is His word—the word of Him who never speaks in vain. Jehovah’s word is a firm ground for a waiting soul to rest upon.”

–Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David: A Commentary on the Psalms, 3 Vol. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 3:120.

“A holy regard of God” by Charles Spurgeon

“Free, full, sovereign pardon is in the hand of the great King. It is His prerogative to forgive, and He delights to exercise it.

Because His nature is mercy, and because He has provided a sacrifice for sin, therefore forgiveness is with Him for all that come to Him confessing their sins.

The power of pardon is permanently resident with God. He has forgiveness ready to His hand at this instant. ‘But there is forgiveness with Thee that Thou mayest be feared.’ This is the fruitful root of piety.

None fear the Lord like those who have experienced His forgiving love. Gratitude for pardon produces far more fear and reverence of God than all the dread which is inspired by punishment.

If the Lord were to execute justice upon all, there would be none left to fear Him. If all were under apprehension of His deserved wrath, despair would harden them against fearing Him.

It is grace which leads the way to a holy regard of God, and a fear of grieving Him.”

–Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David: A Commentary on the Psalms, 3 Vol. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1988), 3:119.

“Hope” by Eugene Peterson

“Hoping does not mean doing nothing… It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying. And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain.

It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what He said He will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it His way and in His time.”

–Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1980/2000), 144.

“Never-failing compassion” by John Owen

“There is mercy and never-failing compassion in God, so that though my own present condition be full of darkness, and I see no deliverance, yet I purpose still to abide waiting on Him. Who knows what those infinite stores and treasures of mercy and relief that are with Him may at length afford unto me?”

–John Owen, Temptation and Sin in The Works of John Owen, ed. William Goold, 24 vols. (Edinburgh: Johnson & Hunter; 1850-1855; reprint by Banner of Truth, 1966), Vol. 6:417-418.

“His forgiveness is holy” by Ed Welch

“No doubt you have wronged other people in your life and they have forgiven you. That is certainly an expression of the grace of God. But don’t use the experience of human forgiveness to understand the forgiveness of God. Remember: we have been enemies of God. We still find the seeds of rebellion in our hearts everyday; we didn’t even seek God and beg His forgiveness, yet He is pleased to forgive.

One common feature of all world religions, except for the religion revealed in the Old and New Testaments, is that the gods demand some kind of human penance when they are wronged. Human beings must pay the gods back by giving more money, adhering to proper rituals, going through some form of self-punishment, or practicing some means of works righteousness.

When religions are shaped by the way people treat one another, such a system is unavoidable. The psalmist knows this. He knows that all other gods keep records of who has been naughty and who has been nice. But God is holy, and his forgiveness is holy. Nothing can compare to it. As a result the psalmist says, ‘If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared’ (Ps. 130:3-4).

Do you ever think that your sins are too bad, and that forgiveness for those sins requires you to get your act together first? If so, you don’t fear God. You are minimizing his forgiveness. You are acting as though his forgiveness is ordinary, just like that of any person or make-believe god. In contrast, the fear of the Lord leads us to believe that when God makes promises too good to be true, they are indeed true.”

–Ed Welch, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2007), 194-5.