A Gentle Spirit

Question:  What is the third benefit?

Answer:

It is a good, quiet, tranquil heart, a gentle spirit with which a Christian henceforth expects everything from God’s hand to be for the good.

For since our lives are surrounded by countless dangers that daily threaten us with death, our hearts will be rid of all anxiety, fear, and worry when the light of God’s providence penetrates them by the grace of the Holy Spirit. By this light the believer knows and is assured that he has been taken under the protection of God and is united with Him, that the angels are commanded to look after him, that he is free from all creaturely harm and danger, and that no creaturely adversity can arise unless God, the ruler of everything, wills to send it — and then only so that it works for the believer’s good (Romans 8:28; Psalm 91:10, 11; Psalm 119:71).

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:10, 11

71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.  Psalm 119:71

This is the covenant that believers, bound to God the Creator, also have with creatures, who without the Creator’s will can neither live nor move.

Although this doctrine contains still more fruits and benefits, the ones we have explained are the most important. We can truly say that to be ignorant of the providence of God leads to misery beyond measure. Knowledge of this doctrine, on the other hand, is the beginning of true happiness.

Caspar Olevianus, A Firm Foundation, pp. 32-33

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