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To Savor the Invisible and Eternal

December 25, 2018
By Martin Luther

I hope for Your salvation, O LORD.

PSALM 119:166

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To Savor the Invisible and Eternal

This is the characteristic of the faithful people, namely, to look for, as Psalm 27:14 says: "Wait for the Lord, act manfully." For this produces patience, which is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). What good would it do to live in faith and hope only at the beginning and to be broken with weariness before the end and return to visible things, in which one lives without faith and hope, but in the reality and present? This is characteristic of the ungodly and unbelieving who do not know how to savor the invisible and the eternal. Therefore they go to earthly things and neither endure their adversity nor bear their prosperity but sin in both and are moved from one kind of sins to another. But those who wait are fixed and suspended in heaven. Therefore, whether adversity or prosperity comes, they are not moved, but abide, looking for other things. Therefore this expectation necessarily includes contempt of all earthly goods and evils. If it were not so, they would surely stop expecting, while despairing in adversity or enjoying themselves in prosperity, as others do. Hence he rightly says, "I will look for Thy salvation," not the salvation of the world or of the flesh, which can be taken away again or can also be looked for by the unworthy.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 119 (Luther's Works 11:529)

December 25

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