We are taught … to pray that God’s will may be done: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In so saying, we express our longing desire that the number of God’s converted and obedient people on earth may greatly increase, that His enemies, who hate His laws, may be minished and brought low, and that the time may speedily arrive when all men shall do their willing service to God on earth, even as all the angels do in heaven.
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke 1-10 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 3.
It’s sufficient that we recognize our calling from the Lord to be the principle and foundation of good works in all our affairs. The one who doesn’t frame his actions with reference to his calling will never keep the right course in his duties. He will perhaps occasionally do things that are praiseworthy in appearance, but his actions, whatever value they might have before men, will be rejected before God’s throne. Nor will there be consistency in his actions in the various spheres of his life.
Consequently, the one who directs himself toward the goal of observing God’s calling will have a life well composed. Free from rash impulses, he won’t attempt more than his calling warrants. He will understand that he shouldn’t overstep his boundaries. He who lives in obscurity will live an ordinary life without complaint, so that he won’t be found guilty of deserting his divinely appointed post. Indeed, in the midst of troubles, hardships, annoyances, and other burdens, he will find great relief when he remembers God is his guide in all these matters. The magistrate will more gladly attend to his duties. The father will more gladly commit himself to his responsibilities. Each person, in whatever his station in life, will endure and overcome troubles, inconveniences, disappointments, and anxieties, convinced that his burden has been placed upon him by God. Great consolation will follow from all of this. For every work performed in obedience to one’s calling, no matter how ordinary and common, is radiant–most valuable in the eyes of our Lord.
–John Calvin in A Little Book on the Christian Life, edited and translated by Aaron Clay Denlinger and Burk Parsons, Reformation Trust Publishing, Sanford, Florida (2017), 125-126.
Let us cleave to Christ more closely, love Him more heartily, live to Him more thoroughly, copy Him more exactly, confess Him more boldly, follow Him more fully. Religion like this will always bring its own reward. Worldly people may laugh at it. Weak brethren may think it extreme. But it will wear well. At even time it will bring us light. In sickness it will bring us peace. In the world to come it will give us a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
–J.C. Ryle in Sickness, Chapel Library, Pensacola, Florida (1998), 26.