by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. —James 5:13
But though prayer is properly restricted to wishes and petitions, yet there is so great an affinity between petition and thanksgiving that they may be justly comprehended under the same name.
The Scripture not without reason enjoins us the continual use of both; for we have elsewhere said that our want is so great and experience itself proclaims that we are molested and oppressed on every side with such numerous and great perplexities, that we all have sufficient cause for unceasing sighs and groans and ardent supplications to God.
For though they enjoy a freedom from adversity, yet the guilt of their sins and the innumerable assaults of temptation ought to stimulate even the most eminent saints to pray for relief. But of the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving there can be no interruption without guilt; since God ceases not to accumulate on us his various benefits, according to our respective cases, in order to constrain us, inactive and sluggish as we are, to the exercise of gratitude.
Finally, we are almost overwhelmed with such great and copious effusions of his beneficence; we are surrounded, whithersoever we turn our eyes, by such numerous and amazing miracles of his hand, that we never lack matter for praise and thanksgiving. —Institutes, III, xx, xxviii
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.