How many people have said to you this year that these are difficult times? COVID 19 alone has produced widespread anxiety which has been coupled with widespread unrest in society, and deep-seated divisions in our political world. What are we to do? Who can draw on deep personal experience of such days to give us wise guidance? John Owen lived in precisely such a time of suffering, of terrible political divisions that cost many lives, of war and of plague. So in Searching our Hearts in Difficult Times we find the voice of Scripture married to a life of deep personal experience to bring us exactly the counsel we need.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON
‘O that we might advise one another as to what to do; to help one another to recover from our weaknesses!’
Following Jesus is not easy. It involves self-denial, daily cross-bearing, and lifelong obedience. Salvation is promised to the one who ‘endures to the end.’ Christians need much encouragement, especially in ‘difficult times’. This the Lord supplies through pastors who love him and care for his people.
John Owen was such a pastor. One way he sought to help his fellow-believers was to hold occasional meetings for spiritual conference and fellowship at which various topics were addressed and discussed, with Owen providing a concluding summary of the proceedings.
The short chapters in Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times contain a number of Owen’s talks and sermons on a wide range of subjects which are as relevant to Christians today as they were to believers some three and a half centuries ago.
Abridged and made easy to read.
‘In these records we are transported back three hundred and fifty years to a relatively small gathering of serious Christians. We have the privilege of eavesdropping on one of the great spiritual masters answering questions that arose in the hearts and minds of the congregation he loved and served. They are also perennial questions. Owen deals with the issues that trouble serious-minded Christians in every age: “How much conviction of sin do I need to have?” “Can sin and grace both be in my life simultaneously?” “How can I overcome a sin-habit?” “How can I be sure I really am a Christian?” We may not be able to listen to Owen’s voice on the web; but we can easily enough allow our imagination to wander back to these gatherings and almost hear his voice as we benefit form these wonderfully preserved transcripts of spiritual counsel. They are a banquet for hungry souls!’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON