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Despair Turned to Joy

March 23, 2020
By Martin Luther

"[Esau] is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him."

GENESIS 32:6

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Despair Turned to Joy

These matters should instruct and confirm the Church in all adversities. For they are set forth in this way that the Church may believe and trust when all things seem impossible and lost and no place is left anymore for counsel and help. It is stated in Psalm 107:27: “All their wisdom has been devoured." In such a case you should learn to come to this conclusion: “Although all things are done in great weakness and already seem lost, nevertheless, for God nothing is impossible." . . . For He once created all things out of nothing; He still retains this ability and in the same manner still preserves and governs all things. What is nothing for us is everything for God; and what is impossible for us is very easy for Him. By the same power, on the Last Day He will raise the dead who from the foundation of the earth have lain in the dust of the earth. So much about the alarm of the patriarch Jacob in very great peril. This is a proof that the flesh is alive and flourishing even in the saints. For this reason the saintliest man, even after such great promises and consolations, very nearly slips into despair. . .. Let us remember that we should do and learn this most of all, to trust in God in all temptations. For it is His special work to make the dead alive, to render those who are completely confused peaceful and tranquil, and to make those who are wretched happy and those who are in despair joyful.

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