“And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
2 Samuel 9:7
When David wanted to show kindness to the house of Saul, he showed immense strength of character. For in showing kindness to his enemy, he overcame and put underfoot painful thoughts that could have caused him to take vengeance and act unkindly.
The devil presents us with objects of fear and doubt in such matters, saying, “If you do that, it may please God, but it will cause you trouble.” When, therefore, we think of such things, let us see that by following God’s commands we will be protected. We will be upheld when tortuous paths are ahead of us.
For example, magistrates, whose responsibility is to rebuke everything evil, often cover it up. Why? Because they do not want to be hated. That is not only the case in one place, but everywhere. Ministers of the Word of God should open their mouths to rebuke the faults that they see, but they cover things up and pretend not to see evil. They do that because they fear being disdained by some, and they do not want to lose their friendship.
More often, we refrain from doing good when we see that few are taking straight paths, and most only carry out their duty. We are cold when it comes to carrying out our duty because we are afraid of what it may cost us.
We must resist these fears by letting faith be our guard. We must believe that, when we follow the path that God proposes for us, he will make all our enterprise prosper and make things turn out well. He will certainly find the means to deliver us whenever we are oppressed or tossed about by many doubts.”
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:3
Notice that, in all his epistles, Paul constantly reminds us of the grace of God and the love He bears toward all believers. He says, Grace be to you and peace. The word peace includes all worldly prosperity. By it Paul is asking God to provide those things that He considers for our good. He will shower His riches upon us and reveal His bounty so that we might praise Him for His goodness.
However, the wealth of this world will be harmful for us unless we have found favor with the Lord. Hence, Paul speaks here in an orderly way, always placing God’s grace and free pardon before an increase in worldly prosperity. Though we may ask God to bless us with those things He thinks we need, we must not forget the most important blessing is to be members of His church and assured of God’s love in our hearts.
The light of God’s countenance should suffice us. Although God permits us to ask for good things from His hand, we must keep a tight rein on our desires. God may afflict us with many sorrows, and at such times we need to value His grace above anything else. We should then be content, even if everything else is taken away. If we live in comfort, surrounded by all kinds of pleasures and delights, we will still be miserable if we do not have the peace of conscience that comes from knowing that God loves and accepts us.
We should not desire earthly goods more than the love of God. For what if God, who loves us, wishes to test our patience by making us suffer in this world and subjects us to many trials? Even then, we must prize His love above all else and patiently bear all trials, though it seems as if everything is against us.”
-From John Calvin’s Works