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Prepare Your Soul for Trial

January 22, 2019
By Martin Luther

You have given me relief when I was in distress.

PSALM 4:1

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Prepare Your Soul for Trial

 

Truly He is a faithful and kind God, who for His own name's sake alone deems us, who are unworthy and evil, worthy of such great blessings. And who can be worthy in the presence of such great majesty except one whom He Himself has made worthy? This indeed is what reason affirms. For He is the highest and has no need of anyone's blessings. Hence these brief words comprise all of the blessings of God that He offers in adversity. However, [the psalmist] correctly made mention of his prosperity first. For God first adorns and equips, He first justifies and makes alive, and then He quickly subjects to battle, so that strength may increase, which otherwise would quickly be consumed by rust and inactivity. No matter what, it is because of His work as the end. But that work meets with the opposition of tribulation and trial. Therefore this verse agrees with Ecclesiasticus 2:1: "My child, if you come forward to serve the Lord," namely, through justification, "prepare your soul for trials." "Note then the kindness of God" (Romans 11:22). What great things He offers in adversity, and with what faithful love He sends tribulation!

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 4 (Luther's Works 10:48)

January 22

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