Voices from the Past
Today, I’d like to share with you the entry for June 3 from my favorite daily devotional, Voices of the Past (Puritan Devotional Readings), edited by Richard Rushing. This encouragement comes from Volume 2:
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar (Hebrews 11:13).
We do not see every promise fulfilled in our times. God may bring fulfilment in another age. The fathers didn’t see the time of Christ in their day. This should help us in a common infirmity that Christians battle. We should be thankful for what we have though we do not have all we desire. The fathers didn’t have fulfilment—yet they were thankful and cheerful, and died in faith embracing the promise. We should be thankful for what we have, and content to wait for what we do not have. This is a proper temperament for a Christian. Covetousness and greed for what we do not have makes us miss the blessings of what we do have! The fathers saw the promises from afar, were persuaded of them and embraced them. Their fulfilment came generations after, yet they saw them by the eye of faith! Faith makes things present in regards to certainty and comfort. God also gives us grace to strengthen our faith during the interval between faith and actual possession. He gives us patience and hope and many other sweet graces so that we can comfortably wait for the accomplishment of the things believed. Faith has feet to go to Christ, arms to grasp Christ, ears to hear God’s word and believe, and eyes to see things far off and invisible. Faith sees heaven, Christ, and our heavenly home. Faith breaks through with the most piercing beams. Faith sees the past: creation, and the punishment of Christ our surety. It sees the future: resurrection to life everlasting and happiness in heaven. It gives being to things, and pierces through difficulties. When our present estate seems contrary to promise as if God did not care, faith breaks through that. When we die, faith sees life. When we apprehend our sins, faith sees forgiveness. When we are greatly perplexed, faith sees happiness and glory!
(Richard Sibbes, Works, VII:421-424)
If you enjoyed this post, I encourage you to get a copy of both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Voices of the Past, which is published by The Banner of Truth Trust. These books are a wonderful way to not only become familiar with the writings of Puritan authors but also to have your soul fed each day by their biblical wisdom and insight.