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Joy in Trials

July 30, 2020
By Martin Luther

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

PHILIPPIANS 4:13

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Joy in Trials

The godless are unaware of this feeling of joy in trials. Nor is it a power of human strength, but of the Holy Spirit, which so transforms human beings in such a way that they think nothing of what terrifies others and laugh at what others lament. Now, this is a great power: to be able to turn an unbearable yoke into one that is not only bearable but even pleasant and light, not by changing the load itself but by changing the person carrying it. For the person himself is clothed with new strength, which "can do all things through Him who strengthens him," as Paul [says] (Philippians 4:13). For if I were commanded to bear heaven and earth, I would surely be utterly terrified. But if someone else were to supply a power that is enough to bear it very easily, as if I were tossing a ball, now I would not only be able to bear it, but I also would even play and be delighted in carrying it! And this is the strength of Christ, who therefore says clearly "My burden." It is as if He were saying: "My burden is unlike other burdens. My burden does not weigh down but lifts up, and it bears rather than being borne."

From Annotations on Matthew (Luther's Works 67:148)

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