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Be Strong and Take Courage

May 10, 2019
By Martin Luther

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

PSALM 34:19

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Be Strong and Take Courage

The Holy Spirit points out the hypothetical assertion, as they call it in the schools, when He states in Psalm 34:19: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." Therefore when the saints see that they are afflicted, they still do not for this reason depart from the commands of God; but to this minor premise they add the conclusion of faith and maintain that they, too, will be delivered from those adversities and dangers. These are revelations of the Holy Spirit; philosophy is not aware of them. Therefore it is offended; it denies providence and concludes that God does not concern Himself with human affairs, but everything happens by accident and by chance. . .. What is the reason for this blindness? No doubt it is this: reason looks only at the adversities of the present and is impressed and overwhelmed by them, but of the promise concerning the future it has no knowledge at all. The Holy Spirit, however, commands us to disregard the things of the present and to look at those of the future. He says (Psalm 27:14): "Wait, be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord." Thus these passages are intended to teach and strengthen faith and hope.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 2:307-8)

May 10

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