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Steadfastness amid Tribulation

March 22, 2020
By Martin Luther

"We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him."

GENESIS 32:6

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Steadfastness amid Tribulation

Moses is very obliging and generous in his description of this trial. For it is a memorable example of how God exercises the saints by various trials and consolations. . .. Such is this life, full of griefs and troubles! The life to come has been promised so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (cf. Romans 15:4). In the meantime, these two are mingled, steadfastness, or encouragement, and tribulation. For if encouragement is present, all is prosperity and joy; again, when darkness and tribulation break in, the devil reigns and Christ is crucified. Therefore we are instructed by these examples not to despair but to expect the best and hope for a certain and rich redemption from evils and the end thereof, even though in these evils we can see neither their end nor God's presence, which is hidden to the understanding of the flesh. Accordingly, the Word must be learned, and a person must exercise himself in it and get to know these continuous alternations which are customary in the life of the saints and of all believers who wish to please God. . .. Thus Paul says of himself in 2 Corinthians 1:8: "We were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself," but there is no need for you to fear that you will be burdened by God beyond measure, because the statement stands firm: "God is faithful, etc."

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