Your Only Comfort

Calvin said that "believers are conscious of two very different states of mind. On the one hand, they are afflicted and distressed with various fears and anxieties; on the other, there is a secret joy communicated to them from above." I think there's a great deal of truth in this statement—and it's the kind of truth that non-believers might find either amusing or disingenuous. How can we acknowledge all the suffering and evil in the world, all the while talking about the goodness of God?

The condescension of others doesn't matter, though, when a believer's back is against the wall. To have faith when there's every reason not to have it is indeed a soul-cheering consolation. Some may rage against the dying of the light, but the sun does not go down on a living faith.

The Heidelberg Catechism opens with this question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? And provides this answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. And this leads me to this morning's portion of the psalter:

If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot is slipping,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. 
✙ Ps 94:17-19 

When all around me is in tumult, or worse yet, when every other voice is silent, so fill my heart with love for you, Lord, that my tongue will sing your praises. Thank you for what you have done, for what you are doing now, and for what you will do in the future; in the Name of the One who taught me to pray: Our Father...