John Calvin writes about our “knowledge” of God’s providence in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:
‘Gratitude of mind for the favourable outcome of thing, patience in adversity, and also incredible freedom from worry about the future all necessarily follow upon this knowledge.’ (see 1.17.7)
By knowledge he means that we properly understand and see the ramifications of the doctrine. By “providence” he means that as described by many passages of scripture (e.g. Isaiah 46:10-11), and by the 1689 London Confession 5:1, which says that God “upholds, directs, organises and governs all creatures and things, from the greatest to the least … ” I wrote about God’s providence recently here.
With that in mind, read the quote again. Calvin says that when we know and trust God in his providence, we should be 3 things.
1. Thankful for all of the good things that come about in our life,
2. Patient in difficult times in our life, and
3. Free from worry.
God is in control, says Calvin. So, be thankful! Be patient! Don’t worry!
Picture credit: John Calvin’s church in Geneva, by Mark Gstohl. Some rights reserved.