What a 17th Century Puritan Wants You to Do with Your “Hard Thoughts” about God
Flesh and blood is apt to have very hard thoughts of him — to think he is always angry, yea, implacable; that it is not for poor creatures to draw nigh to him. . .
Many saints have no greater burden in their lives than that their hearts do not come clearly and fully up, constantly to delight and rejoice in God — that there is still an indisposedness [unwillingness] of spirit unto close walking with him.
What is at the bottom of this distemper?
Is it not their unskillfulness in or neglect of this duty, even of holding communion with the Father in love?
So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more.
Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from him; but if the heart be once much taken up with this the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him.
This, if anything, will work upon us to make our abode with him.
If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will?
Put, then, this to the venture: exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in him. I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams. You who have run from him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.
John Owen, Communion with the Triune God, pp. 126, 128.