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Proof of Grace and God's Goodwill

December 18, 2018
By Martin Luther

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.

PSALM 118:17

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Proof of Grace and God's Goodwill

When we are afflicted and disciplined, our heart must be aroused against the feeling of evil, and we must say (cf. Psalm 118:17): "I shall not die, but I shall live, however different it may appear. Although I may, indeed, be compelled to despair of myself, I shall nevertheless hope in Him who made all things out of nothing and can restore me intact after being reduced to nothing, to my very great benefit and that of others." Therefore the fiercer our sufferings are, the greater and more wonderful are the things that are worked in the saints. It is a proof of grace and God's goodwill when they are disciplined by the cross and afflictions. For when they persevere by faith in the promise and endure, great and incredible blessings follow according to the statement in James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him," and in John 12:24 we read: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 6:355)

December 18

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