by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: —Job 19:26
Let us not say, "I believe in God because he maintains me, because he gives me health, and because he nourishes me"; but "I believe in God because he has allowed me to taste of his goodness in preserving this body, which is but rottenness, so that I see him show himself to me as a Father in that I have being through the power of his Spirit. I believe in him alone because he calls me to heaven, and has not created me as an ox or ass to live here a little while, but has formed me after his own image, to the intent that I should hope for the inheritance of his kingdom and be partaker of the glory of his Son.
I believe that he daily allures me thither, so that I should not doubt but that when my body is laid in the grave, and there consumed to nothing, notwithstanding it shall be restored again at the last day; and in the meantime my soul shall be in safe and sure keeping, because when I am dead God will have it in his protection."
And when we are so well disposed, we may say with Job, "Well, now, I see my body must go to decay. Look, whatever freshness was in it, it diminishes day by day, and I need not go far to seek death. For I see no infirmity in my flesh which is so small that it is not a messenger of death. But yet for all that I shall see my God." If we could speak thus when we see that our strength diminishes and vanishes away little by little; then although it pleased God to smite us in such a way that, so to speak, we would rot above the ground, as Job did (for he says that his skin was worm-eaten and consumed, and he was as good as dead, and yet he protests that he will not cease looking unto his God), yet we should not cease to trust God after the example of Job.
This, then, is how the greatness of the afflictions that God sends us will not be to astonish us, provided that we are taught to recognize him as he is toward us; namely, to consider well to what end he has created us and maintains us in this world. —Sermons
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.