Whence Consolation

calvin_consistory_1549John Calvin once wrote

“When the world appears to be aimlessly tumbled about, the Lord is everywhere at work.”

And that is certainly true. God is Lord and he is in control. But the fact remains, when we’re in the tumble it’s sometimes hard to keep our eyes fixed on God. Life, it seems, has a very powerful interest in distracting us from God. The world certainly wishes us to turn our gaze away from God and onto the storm and the tempest so that we can be as miserable as the world is (since misery loves company). But it’s exactly at that moment when life is tumbling us in every conceivable direction that we need to remember that God is truly in control and even, then, in the storm, to be at peace.

The real issue, then, is to find a way to find that peace that ‘passes all understanding’; to find, to borrow a phrase from Calvin,

‘that confidence which never fails’.

And to do that we simply must

“call to mind that the devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are, in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how much soever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay, unless in so far as he commands; that they are not only bound by his fetters, but are even forced to do him service,—when the godly think of all these things they have ample sources of consolation.”

God is in control. That truth is the foundation of all consolation and comfort. Without that truth, life makes no sense. With it, everything does.