by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
... ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. —John 16:20b
"Your sorrow will be turned into joy." He means the joy which they felt after having received the Spirit; not that they were afterwards free from all sorrow, but that all the sorrow which they would endure was swallowed up by spiritual joy.
We know that the apostles, so long as they lived, sustained a severe warfare, that they endured base reproaches, that they had many reasons for weeping and lamenting; but renewed by the Spirit, they had laid aside their former consciousness of weakness, so that, with lofty heroism, they nobly trampled under foot all the evils that they had endured.
Here then is a comparison between their present weakness and the power of the Spirit, which would soon be given to them; for, though they were nearly overwhelmed for a time, yet afterwards they not only fought bravely, but obtained a glorious triumph in the midst of their struggles.
Yet it ought also to be observed, that he points out not only the interval that elapsed between the resurrection of Christ and the death of the apostles, but also the period which followed afterwards; as if Christ had said, "You will lie prostrate, as it were, for a short time; but when the Holy Spirit shall have raised you up again, then will begin a new joy, which will continue to increase, until, having been received into the heavenly glory, you shall have perfect joy." —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.