The Trade-off

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Daily Reformation, Psalm 30:1-12

From the Reformer

…if a man lives by his own wits, without God’s calling, he will wander and get lost all his life. Those who think they are very wise, and neither inquire of God nor receive his Spirit to govern all their actions, are blind and grope in the dark. There is only one right way: to hold on single-mindedly to our divine calling and to have God always walking ahead of us. This firmly established rule of life, which we must follow with perfect confidence, leads straight to a successful outcome because God does not rule our lives except for our well-being. And it is essential for us to realize that, as soon as the faithful move one foot in order to follow God, Satan comes forward with a thousand obstacles, and presents them with all sorts of perils, all with the one purpose of contriving to obstruct our way. Nevertheless, the Lord kindles his light and invites us to go ahead; we must walk with courage even though our way may be filled with many deaths. This we must do because God never bids us to go ahead without at the same time fortifying us with his promise; and the promise gives us our firm certainty that if we remain under his authority, he will bring us to a good and blessed end. This is our chariot; anyone who rides in it is never weary and cast down. Even though the obstacles on our way are so great that we could not overcome them in our own vehicle, we always find our way out with the wings which are given us, until we arrive at our destination; not because nothing adverse happens to believers, but because the very evils they meet are helps which bring them to salvation.

—John Calvin, Commentaries

Pulling It Together

What is being in “the pits” but one setback after another until you have been knocked down so often and so low that you cannot go any lower? You know where you want to be but you cannot get there from the pits. Joseph was knocked down and thrown in to a pit. Someone had to pull him out. The trade-off was being sold into slavery—though this did eventually lead him to being a ruler of a great nation. God made the pit into purpose.

Is there a purpose in your pit? Perhaps your pit was meant to make you look up. Extend your arms; God will pull you out. But do not think the trade-off with God will be servitude. He means well for you. Jesus told his disciples, “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends…” (John 15:15 ESV)

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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