I decided to select the passage from Trial and Triumph. It seems best to go with the theme of rest that has continually come to the forefront this month. (Big hint for my end of the month post ...)
Those old, faithful saints. They really knew how to sink down into God's faithfulness, His righteousness, in a way that I'm not convinced we modern people truly understand. John Bunyan, knowing he will be arrested momentarily for violating the king's edict and preaching beyond the bounds of the Church of England.
His congregation has warned him of the impending arrest and instructed him not to preach for his own safety.
His refusal, his call to service, the very reason he is there to preach are predicated on his conversion and the growth he had found through Jesus. His comfort was based on nothing more than Jesus' righteousness alone. He had thoroughly, soundly reposed on Christ, and on that basis he trusted his earthly life to the heavenly glory he would later attain.
Oh, to have such faith!
His resolve was so strong because early after his conversion, during worship, he had the assurance of the unchanging, timeless nature of Jesus' righteousness for his good.
Some time [after his conversion] while worshipping at Gifford's church, the Lord touched John Bunyan's heart. "These words did suddenly break in upon me," he said later that day. 'My grace is sufficient for you,' three ties together; and O, I thought that every word was a ighty word unto me. And then this verse from John 6:37, 'Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.' I saw it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ himself, the same yesterday, today, and forever. (John Bunyan as quoted in Trial and Triumph, pg 182-3)
I am very afraid that we soon will see a time when religious belief and practice will again be censured. We see glimpses of it already in the social sphere and working its way up the judicial sphere in America. May we learn to so thoroughly rest in God's promises and his immutability that we can trust God our Father as did Bunyan and the saints of old.