Puritan Devotional: John Bradford (1510-1555) on Psalm 103:13

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13

“You, dear Lord, that have made heaven and earth, of your own good will towards me before I existed, yes, before the world was, have chosen me in Christ to be your child. You have become my most loving Father. Your love and fatherly providence exceeds the love of any earthly father in loving, caring, providing, nurturing, and helping me in all my needs. I should not waver or doubt that you are my dear Father and I your child forever through Jesus Christ (1 John 4:10). I can cast my whole care upon you, trust and call on you, with comfort and certain hope for all things that I need. I am your child, undeserved and only in respect to your own goodness and grace in Christ. In your good will you adopted me, and nothing can be finally lacking for my good. Your power is almighty and your will so bountiful. I should behave as your child, rejoicing, praising, trusting, fearing, serving, loving, and calling upon you. But alas, how heavy-hearted I am! I am unthankful, full of unbelief and doubting of your rich mercy. How little I love, fear, and call upon you! Be merciful to me, forgive me, good Father, for your own sake, and reveal yourself to me, that I may truly know, love, and faithfully hang upon you for all my needs. At your hands I must look for all things. Father, I am taught to glory in you, for you are wholly my Lord, my God, and my Father. But alas, how far am I from this! I am guilty of such unthankfulness for your calling me into this blessed communion of your dear Son and of yourself! O be merciful to me, good Father, forgive me, and grant me for Christ’s sake that I may feel the true joy of your blessed fellowship. I come as your child and desire it unto you glory!”

  • John Bradford (1510-1555), The Writings of John Bradford, I:II8-I23, quoted by Richard Rushing, Voices From The Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, Volume 1 (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009, 2017), 177

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