by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. —Matthew 24:24, 25
But you know how the Son of God forewarns us, so that nothing should trouble us, seeing that we have been prepared for it beforehand. Think rather that this is not the end, but that God is trying you very gently, supporting your weakness, until you have more strength to sustain blows.
But be this as it may, beware of letting yourself be cast down by indifference or despair. Many are overcome, because they allow their zeal to grow cold, and run off in self-flattery. Others, on the contrary, become so alarmed when they do not find in themselves the strength they wish, that they get confused, and give up the struggle altogether.
What then is to be done? Arouse yourself to meditate, as much upon the promises of God, which ought to serve as ladders to raise us up to heaven, and make us despise this transitory and fading life, as upon threatenings, which may well induce us to fear his judgments.
When you do not feel your heart moved as it ought to be, have recourse, as to a special remedy, to diligently seeking the aid of him without whom we can do nothing. In the meantime, strive to your utmost, blaming coldness and weakness, until you can perceive that there is some amendment.
And in regard to this, great caution is required so as to hold a middle course, namely to groan unceasingly, and even to woo yourself to sadness and dissatisfaction with your condition, and to such a sense of misery as that you may have no rest; without, at the same time, any doubting that God in due time will strengthen you according to your need, although this may not appear at once. —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.