Home > Faith, The Holy Cross > God Treats Us So That We Do Not Know What He Will Do With Us–Luther.

God Treats Us So That We Do Not Know What He Will Do With Us–Luther.

God Treats Us So That We Do Not Know What He Will Do With Us–Luther..


I repost this because the Gospel for the 14th Sunday after Trinity is also the Gospel for thanksgiving day, and because it is so excellent.

“And this is the method God employs with us all to strengthen and prove our faith, and he treats us so that we know not what he will do with us.  This he does for the reason, that man is to commend himself to him and rely on his mere goodness, and not doubt that he will give what we desire or something better.  So also these lepers thought: very well, we will go as he commands, and although he does not tell us whether he will cleanse us or not, this shall not influence us to esteem him any the less than before.  Yea, we will only esteem him so much the more and higher, and joyfully wait, if he will not cleanse us, he will do still better for us than if we were cleansed, and we will not on that account despair of mercy and favor.  Behold, this is the true increase of faith.

“Such trials continue as long as we live, therefore we must also continue to grow just as long.  For when he tries us in one instance in which he makes us uncertain how he will treat us, he afterwards always takes another and continually enlarges our faith and confidence, if only we remain unmovably steadfast.

“Therefore observe that when God appears to be farthest away he is nearest.  This word of Christ reads as though we cannot know what he will do, he does not refuse nor promise anything, so that the lepers…might have become offended at it, and begun to doubt…

Thus it also happened to the people of Israel in the desert, they thought God did not bring them out of Egypt, upon whom nevertheless they called and they knew while in Egypt that he would help them.  But all this is done that we may not remain in weakness when we first begin to believe, but grow and ever increase until we be able to take the strong nourishment and become satisfied and full of the Spirit, that we may not only despise and triumph over riches, honor, and friends, but also over death and hell….

Luther, Sermon on the Gospel for the 14th Sunday after Trinity, Church Postil

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