17 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

Grateful in Danger

Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron. Psalm 107:10

suggested further reading: Matthew 14:22–33

The Spirit of God mentions many dangers in which God shows his power and grace in protecting and delivering people. The world calls these vicissitudes the sport of fortune; hardly one in a hundred people ascribe them to the superintending providence of God.

But God expects a very different kind of practical wisdom from us, namely, that we should meditate on his judgments in a time of adversity and on his goodness in delivering us from danger. For surely it is not by mere chance that a person falls into the hands of enemies or robbers; neither is it by chance that a person is rescued from them. But what we must constantly keep in mind is that all afflictions are God’s rod, and therefore there is no remedy for them other than God’s grace.

If a person falls into the hands of robbers or thieves and is not instantly murdered, but, giving up all hope of life, expects death at any moment, surely his deliverance is striking proof of the grace of God. This grace is even more illustrious considering the few who escape from such danger. Such circumstances, then, ought not to diminish our praises of God.

The prophet charges people with ingratitude who, after they have been wonderfully saved, very soon lose sight of the deliverance granted to them. To strengthen the charge, he brings forward their sighs and cries as a testimony against them. For when they are in dangerous straits, they confess in good earnest that God is their deliverer. Why then do these confessions disappear when they enjoy peace and quietness?

for meditation: Cries to God for deliverance come so easily and so naturally to our lips when we are unable to help ourselves. Why then does praise feel so difficult when things are going well? Are we so foolish to think that we can take care of ourselves in the good times, as if we are any less dependent on God?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 95). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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