by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. —Psalm 37:25
We must bear in mind that with respect to the temporal blessings which God confers upon his people, no certain or uniform rule can be established. There are various reasons why God does not manifest his favor equally to all the godly in this world.
He chastises some, while he spares others; he heals the secret maladies of some, and passes by others, because they have no need of a like remedy; he exercises the patience of some, according as he has given them the spirit of fortitude; and, finally, he sets forth others by way of example. But in general he humbles all of them by the tokens of his anger, that by secret warnings they may be brought to repentance.
Besides, he leads them, by a variety of afflictions, to fix their thoughts in meditation upon the heavenly life; and yet it is not a vain or imaginary thing that, as is set forth in the Law, God vouchsafes earthly blessings to his servants as proofs of his favor toward them.
I confess, I say, that it is not in vain, or for nought, that an abundance of earthly blessings sufficient for the supply of all their wants, is promised to the godly.
This, however, is always to be understood with this limitation, that God will bestow these blessings only in so far as he shall consider it expedient; and, accordingly, it may happen that the blessing of God may be manifested in the life of men in general, and yet some of the godly be pinched with poverty, because it is for their good. —Commentaries
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.