“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4
Man had a happy life in the garden of Eden, living in the image and favour of his Creator, but after the fall, what vain pursuits he craves to restore his happiness! He is like the Sodomites groping at Lot’s door, or the blind leading the blind in a maze of error. The covetous, when he is blessed with goods, applauds his soul as if he had received what is truly good. The sensual, when he is satisfied with the husk of pleasure, cries out that he is living a royal and happy life. The ambitious, when he has climbed the steep and slippery hill of honour, thinks he is in the highest sphere of happiness. Alas! Do not all of these know they are in the chambers of death? They are dead while they are alive. They are walking ghosts in the form of living men. There is only one true way to happiness. Look at the true happiness in the life of Paul. Did he not display a constant attitude of joy and happiness? Certainly his happiness in the flesh was realized because he lived by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:20). Come each of you therefore, who desire to see good days, and lay hold of the ways of life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith we have a life of joy and comfort cheering the soul in the midst of all trials and tribulations. Job in the valley of death exulted and trusted in his living Redeemer. Paul in the midst of calamities was more than a conqueror (Rom. 8:37). Faith supplies abundantly all things pertaining to life and godliness? O faith! When I meditate on you, when I feel any part of your virtue, I find you to be a wonder-worker. Among all the gifts of God there is nothing more useful than faith. It is profitable for this life and the life to come. It is profitable for all parts an purposes in our lives. The use of it will be manifold and rich in every manner.
In this classic devotional, John Calvin urges readers to apply the Christian life in a balanced way to mind, heart, and hand. Rather than focusing on contemplative otherworldliness, the book stresses the importance of a devotedly active Christian life. In style and spirit, this book is much like Augustine’s Confessions, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ. However, its intense practicality sets it apart, making it easily accessible for any reader seeking to carry out Christian values in everyday life. Chapter themes include obedience, self-denial, the significance of the cross, and how we should live our lives today.