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Becoming Real Christians

December 14, 2018
By Martin Luther

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.

PSALM 118:5

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Becoming Real Christians

You must learn to call. Do not sit by yourself or lie on a couch, hanging and shaking your head. 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 burn; 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. Mourn and pray, as this verse teaches, and also Psalm 142:2: "I pour out my complaint before Him, I tell my trouble before Him." Likewise Psalm 141:2: "Let my prayer be counted as incense before Thee, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!" Here you learn that praying, reciting your troubles, and lifting up your hands are sacrifices most pleasing to God. 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.

From Commentary on Psalm 118 (Luther's Works 14:60-61)

December 14

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