Westminster Theological Seminary 1996-11-11 - Revival and Renewal of the Believer's Heart

Topic: The times when the Spirit of God is most likely to revive the heart and renew the joy of a believer.

This is taken from a letter written by the Welsh revivalist Griffith Jones in the early 19th century.

Question: When does God cast comfortable gleams in to the soul and when does He give us refreshing consolations?

  1. When sinners, visited with the day of God's power, are thoroughly made a willing people to become espoused to Christ. Then there is commonly a wedding feast of joy in the soul. The affections are raised, the passions melted, the heart is filled with zeal and gladness, although it be perhaps with tears, like a sun that shines through a shower of rain.
  2. It is more promising evidence that all is right, when the people of God are serious, intent, humble, and constant in divine worship. There they taste the sensible sweetness of the Lord's gracious presence, and the joy of His Divine presence.
  3. Sometimes more than common cheerfulness of heart is felt upon doing some great or difficult service for the honor of God and benefit of men.
  4. The Most High does usually favor those with high degrees of inward joy and comfort, upon great instance of self-denial, when they forsake and willingly part with what is dear to them for His sake.
  5. When any of Christ's disciples willingly bear the cross and endure any great sufferings for His sake, they are generally favored then with more sensible joy and comfortable communion with God than is common at other times.
  6. When we resolutely and with steady faithfulness resist and overcome the violent and repeated assaults of strong temptations, and keep ourselves pure from their contagion; then also usually follows a greater flow than common of inward consolation.
  7. When we have much afflicted ourselves and deeply humbled ourselves before God for our sins, then he is wont graciously to turn towards us and smile upon us.
  8. When serious, humble, and heavenly-minded Christians sweetly commune and converse together about the great things of their salvation, the spiritual presence of their dear Lord, according to His promise, is wont sometimes in a peculiar manner to be with them.
  9. Great joy is given when we zealously lay out ourselves in our best endeavours for the good of others; more especially for the good and welfare of other's souls.

Soli Deo Gloria,