"The way to grow in assurance is to kill sin, seek God's grace, and exercise it as much as you can. Assurance comes not by looking inward, but by action, by looking to Christ and living out of what you see." from Joe Rigney's Introduction
Due to the shallowness of much modern Christian worship and life, we can often think of the display of intense religious emotions as a hypocritical outward show. And we are right to be suspicious, since "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). Nevertheless, emotions are a gift from God and are part of what God redeems.
When the First Great Awakening was breaking out in New England in the 1700s, pastor Jonathan Edwards approved of it and prayed for great revival. However, as a man who suffered from depression and melancholy, Edwards also warned people of the dangers of relying alone on such intense emotions.
The center of the Christian religion is not our emotions, but Christ and His goodness. This classic will inspire you to consider both your life and your emotions and to follow Christ in love.
"The essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion." Jonathan Edwards