The following words of Calvin reflect the heart of a pastor writing to his congregation and to those who lived in a world saturated with the idolatry of Rome. Gospel churches weren’t a dime a dozen during Calvin’s reformation world. For many to leave Rome and become a part of a gospel preaching Reformed church meant forsaking all: family, possessions, and even one’s homeland to move to a place like Geneva.
Most of us today don’t have to leave family and home to find a gospel loving and proclaiming church. Yet, Calvin’s words about the struggles of this life can serve us well to look to the greatest pleasure and treasure in the universe, God himself.
Various things will be sure to upset us. God, however, recalls us to himself, and would have us to behold his face with such pleasure that we bear everything else with patience. That is why all believers must, as their defense and refuge, continually seek God’s face, however much Satan make work to distract them. When, indeed, we treasure God’s face as much as we should, nothing will be too much trouble, although, to tell the truth, it is not personal scruples which holds us back so much as a material difficulties. It is not that God’s children do not struggle hard over issues of conscience, when they come across the scandals we have described in supposedly reformed churches. Hence those who are thinking of moving to places whether the gospel is preached should be alert to the possibility of bad things happening, and should prepare to resist them. As well, let those who have experienced such things be strong. Despite Satan, let them continue to seek God’s face.
Nearly 500 years later various things still are sure to upset the saints of God. God still recalls us to himself and would have us to behold his face with such pleasure that we bear everything else with patience. Might we fly to Christ in the trials of this life. No matter how minuscule or large our troubles are we can turn our faces to the precious face of God and find embrace in his grace and covenant promises. Beloved, find in Christ your all in all.