Original photo in the public domain.
Daily Reformation, Acts 4:5-12
From the Reformer
…so soon as the truth of the gospel doth once appear, Satan setteth himself against the same on the other side, so much as he is able, and attempteth all things that he may smolder the same in the very first beginnings. Secondly, That God doth furnish his children with invincible force and strength, that they may stand steadfast and unmovable against all assaults of Satan, and not yield unto the violence of the wicked. And, last of all, we must note the event and end, that howsoever the adversaries seem to bear the chiefest swing, and they themselves do omit nothing which may serve to blot out the name of Christ; and, on the other side, howsoever the ministers of sound doctrine be as sheep in the mouths of wolves, yet doth God spread abroad the kingdom of his Son; he fostereth the light of the gospel which is lighted; and he is the protector of his children. Therefore, so often as the doctrine of the gospel ariseth, and divers motions do rise on the other side, and the course thereof is letted divers ways, there is no cause why godly minds should faint or quail, as at some unwonted thing; but they ought rather to remember, that these are ordinary endeavors of Satan, so that we must think upon this well before it come to pass, that it cannot otherwise be but that Satan will spew out all his might and main, so often as Christ doth come abroad with his doctrine. And therewithal let us consider that the constancy of the apostles is set forth unto us for an example, lest, being overcome either with any perils, or threatenings, or terrors, we leap back from that profession of faith which the Lord requireth at our hands. And, moreover, let us comfort ourselves with this, that we need not to doubt but that the Lord will give prosperous success when we have done our duty faithfully.
—John Calvin, Commentary on Acts
Pulling It Together
In the laying down of one’s pride, energy, time—or even one’s life, it is not required that she faint. Even under the supposed onslaught of the devil, the Lord provides constancy, strength, and increased faith to match the occasion. This comes when one bows down, admitting their need, depending upon God to supply. This is readily seen in the life of the Lord himself; the Believer should expect no less requirement of providence for herself.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers