28 FEBRUARY 365 Days with Calvin

Held by my Right Hand

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast held me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23

suggested further reading: 2 Timothy 1:6–12; 4:17–18

When the psalmist speaks of God “holding him by the right hand,” he means that he was, by the wonderful power of God, drawn back from the deep gulf into which the reprobate cast themselves. He ascribes wholly to the grace of God that he was restrained from breaking into open blesphemies and from hardening himself in error. That he was brought to condemn himself of foolishness, he also ascribes wholly to the grace of God, who stretched out his hand to hold up the psalmist and prevented him from a fall that would have destroyed him.

From this we see how precious our salvation is in the sight of God, for when we wander far from him, he continues to look upon us with a watchful eye and to stretch forth his hand to bring us to himself. We must beware of perverting this doctrine by making it a pretext for slothfulness. Yet experience teaches us that when we are sunk in drowsiness and insensibility, God exercises care for us. Even when we are fugitives and wanderers from him, he is still near us.

There is no temptation, be it ever so slight, that would not easily overwhelm us if we were not upheld and sustained by the power of God. The reason why we do not succumb, even in the severest conflicts, is because we receive the help of the Holy Spirit. He does not always put power in us in an evident and striking manner (for he often perfects it in our weakness), but it is enough that he succors us. Though we may be ignorant and unconscious of it, he upholds us when we stumble and lifts us up when we have fallen.

for meditation: God’s faithfulness becomes so clear when we wander from him and he does not fail to hold us by our hand. Beginning with your childhood, meditate on God’s faithfulness toward you throughout your entire life.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 77). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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