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Held Fast

January 24, 2019
By Martin Luther

But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.

PSALM 4:3

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Held Fast

When you think that our Lord God has rejected a person, you should think that our Lord God has him in His arms and is pressing him to His heart. When we suppose that someone has been deserted and rejected by God, then we should conclude that he is in the embrace and the lap of God. So Jacob feels and thinks nothing else but that he will be destroyed. But when he takes stock of matters, he is held fast in the embrace of the Son of God [cf. Genesis 32:22-32]. The example of Job in his humiliation and affliction teaches the same. For in this wonderful manner the Lord treats His saint (Psalm 4:3), namely, when we think that it is all over with us, He embraces and kisses us as His dearest sons. This is what Paul means when he says: "When I am weak, I am strong; when I die, I live" (cf. 2 Timothy 2:11; 2 Corinthians 12:10). But we do not understand, and the reason is that the flesh stands in the way. It cannot endure the mortification of itself and hinders the spirit so that it cannot perceive the boundless love and goodwill of God toward us until it comes forth from this struggle and repels the hindrances of the flesh.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 6:149-50)

January 24

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