Saturday, January 4, 2014

Luther on What to Do in the Face of Trouble

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.  Psalm 118:5

“Note the great art and wisdom of faith.  It does not run to and fro in the face of trouble.  It does not cry on everybody’s shoulder, nor does it curse and scold its enemies.  It does not murmur against God by asking, ‘Why does God do this to me?’ . . . Faith does not despair of the God who sends trouble.  Faith does not consider him angry or an enemy, as the flesh, the world and the devil strongly suggest.  Faith rises above all this and sees God’s fatherly heart behind his unfriendly exterior. . . .

"Do not sit by yourself or lie on a couch . . . . Do not destroy yourself with your own thoughts by worrying.  Do not strive and struggle to free yourself, and do not brood on your wretchedness, suffering, and misery.  Say to yourself: ‘Come on, you lazy bum; down on your knees, and lift your eyes and hands toward heaven!’  Read a psalm or the Our Father, call on God, and tearfully lay your troubles before him. . . . It is his desire and will that you lay your troubles before him.  He does not want you to multiply your troubles by burdening and torturing  yourself.  He wants you to be too weak to bear and overcome such troubles; he wants you to grow strong in him.  By his strength he is glorified in you.

"Out of such experiences men become real Christians.  Otherwise, men are mere babblers, who prate about faith and spirit but are ignorant of what it is all about.”

-- Martin Luther on Psalm 118:5

HT: Ray Ortlund, Jr. and Eric Ortlund.

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