“Is the love of God and of Christ so great? Let us then labour to improve it to the utmost for our advantage, against all the hindrances of faith. To what purpose else is it revealed, made mention of, and commended to us?
We are environed with many enemies, and faith in the love of God and of Christ, is our only succour and shelter. Wherefore our duty and wisdom and privilege is, to improve this love for our own advantage.
Improve it against daily infirmities, improve it against the wiles of the devil. Improve it against the threats, rage, death, and destruction, that the men of this world continually with their terror set before you.
But how must that be done? Why, set this love and the safety that is in it, before thine eyes; and behold it while these things make their assaults upon thee. These words, the faith of this, ‘God loves me,’ will support thee in the midst of what dangers may assault thee.
And this is that which is meant, when we are exhorted to rejoice in the Lord (Phil 3:1), to make our boast in the Lord (Psa 44:8); to triumph in Christ (2 Cor 2:14); and to set the Lord always before our face (Psa 16:8). For he that can do this thing steadfastly, cannot be overcome.
For in God there is more than can be in the world, either to help or hinder; wherefore if God be my helper, if God loves me, if Christ be my redeemer, and has bestowed His love that passeth knowledge upon me, who can be against me? (Heb 13:6, Rom 8:31)
And if they be against me, what disadvantage reap I thereby; since even all this also, worketh for my good? This is improving the love of God and of Christ for my advantage.”
–John Bunyan, All Love’s Excelling: The Saint’s Knowledge of Christ’s Love(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1998), 119-120.