Puritans knew that the life of faith is a struggle

Published 8:27 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My children were shown a film about the Puritans being the “killjoys of history.” It’s disturbing to me that our children’s public education has become one of indoctrination of hostility, mocking the foundation of our nation’s history and spiritual beliefs, while celebrating godless behavior in every part of life. The Puritans may have been too zealous in living godly lives, but I’d rather err on the side of goodness than the side of godlessness. – P.H.


Dear P.H.: The great 18th-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote about the Puritans who settled in America, “The practice of religion is not only their business at certain seasons, but the business of their lives.” The Puritans were ready to order their personal life, worship, church, business affairs, political views, and even recreation according to the Bible’s commandments. What a contrast to the permissiveness of our day!

Millions want instant gratification. The whole world seems bent on pleasure, and the preoccupation with self is alarming. When people live only for pleasure, they begin to die morally and spiritually, oblivious to God’s will and scornful of His judgment.

The Puritans knew that the life of faith is a struggle. They knew, too, that sin is a stubborn reality and that believers are not immune to affliction, poverty, and suffering. Still they persevered in their faith.

Like these spiritual forefathers, may it be said of us that our faith is “the business of our lives.” The proverbs of Solomon says, “[Acquire] a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair” (Proverbs 1:3, 1984 NIV). Christians should be known in their neighborhoods and places of business as upright people. The Bible is the constant fountain for faith, conduct, and inspiration from which we drink daily.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)