I am in the process of summarizing the book Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace for The Gospel Coalition. This book has been more theological, warmly devotional, and, therefore, rewarding than I anticipated. Each chapter is written by a different author and full of glorious gospel richness.
One of the gems is this excerpt from sixteenth-century Dutch theologian Jean Taffin’s book The Marks of God’s Children, quoted by Joel R. Beeke in his chapter on the fullness of grace :
In this present life there is no greater joy or contentment, nothing more certain or necessary for rising above all the difficulties we face, than to know and feel that we are children of God. When this foundation is laid, we can be sure that all that happens to us is in some way a blessing of the heavenly Father. It is a means, an aid, a path that in his providence he has prepared either to lead us toward eternal life or to increase our glory in it.
I wonder if most Christians would say the same thing. Do we believe in our heads and in our hearts that there is “no greater joy or contentment” than to know that we are children of God? Everything that happens to us (everything!) happens according to the perfect plan of a heavenly Father that is always for us in Christ. His intentions for us as His children are always for our supreme good. Even the most difficult trials and worst afflictions we face have been perfectly prepared by God to lead us, as Taffin says, “toward eternal life or to increase our glory in it.” Breathtaking. Paul said it this way:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18; ESV).
There can be no greater joy or contentment than knowing we are children of God.