by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. —Matthew 5:11
If we are not satisfied with that, he shows us that as much as our faith is more precious than gold or silver, so it is the more reasonable that it should be tried. Also it is by this means that we are mortified, in order not to be rooted in our love for this world, and more evil affections than we can imagine are thus corrected, were it but to teach us humility and bring down that pride which is always greater in us than it ought to be. By it he also wishes to put us in mind of the esteem in which we ought to hold his word; for if it cost us nothing we should not know its worth.
He permits us then to be afflicted for it, in order to show us how very precious he considers it. But above all by sufferings he wishes us to be conformed to the image of his Son, as it is fitting that there should be conformity between the head and the members.
Let us not then suppose that we are forsaken of God when we suffer persecution for his truth, but rather he so disposes matters for our greater good. If that is repugnant to our senses, it is so because we are always more inclined to seek for our rest here below than in the kingdom of heaven. Now since our triumph is in heaven, we must be prepared for the combat while we live here upon earth. —Correspondence
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.