Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Something from ... Luther on bearing sufferings as a Christian

I ran across this today, and it seemed to resonate with all of the frustrations we are enduring through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Still, in the history of Christendom, the cross we are asked to bear due to the COVID-19 pandemic is minimal compared to what others have had to suffer.  The point of comparison is not how bad we have it, but the goodness of God's promises which sustain us and provide us comfort through it. 

Here is something from Martin Luther.

"So in our suffering we should so act that we give our greatest attention to the promise, in order that our cross and affliction may be turned to good, to something which we could never have asked or thought.  And this is precisely the thing which makes a difference between the Christian's suffering and afflictions and those of all other men.  For other people also have their afflictions, cross, and misfortune, just as they also have their times when they can sit in the rose garden and employ their good fortune and their goods as they please.  But when they run into affliction and suffering, they have nothing to comfort them, for they do not have the mighty promises and the confidence in God which Christians have.  Therefore they cannot comfort themselves with the assurance that God will help them to bear the affliction, much less can they count on it that he will turn their affliction and suffering to good." (Martin Luther, "Sermon at Coburg on Cross and Suffering, 1530; p 201, Luther's Works: American Edition.  Volume 51 (Sermons I); Fortress Press: Philadelphia, PA.  1959.)

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