Consolation in Affliction (Calvin)

Here’s one of those wonderful insights from John Calvin (d. 1564) on the Christian’s consolation in affliction. If you’re suffering right now or facing a difficult trial, these words will make a good Monday meditation for your Christian heart and mind. It’s based on Jesus’ words to the criminal on the cross (“Today you will be with me in paradise”).

What is promised to the robber does not alleviate his present sufferings, nor make any abatement of his bodily punishment. This reminds us that we ought not to judge of the grace of God by the perception of the flesh; for it will often happen that those to whom God is reconciled are permitted by him to be severely afflicted. So then, if we are dreadfully tormented in body, we ought to be on our guard lest the severity of pain hinder us from tasting the goodness of God; but, on the contrary, all our afflictions ought to be mitigated and soothed by this single consolation, that as soon as God has received us into his favour, all the afflictions which we endure are aids to our salvation. This will cause our faith not only to rise victorious over all our distresses, but to enjoy calm repose amidst the endurance of sufferings.

Calvin, John, and William Pringle, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Luke 22:43.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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