Why should cross and trial grieve me?
Need I fear, Christ is near
Never will he leave me.
Who can rob me of the Heaven;
That God’s son for my own;
To my faith has given?
Thou a heavy cross I’m bearing;
And my heart feels the share,
shall I be despairing?
God, my Helper, who doth send it,
well doth know all my woe,
And how best to end it.
God oft gives me days of gladness,
Shall I grieve if he gives seasons too of sadness?
God is good, and tempers ever.
All my ill, and He will wholly leave me never.
(Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676)
‘[God] solemnly commands in Deuteronomy 6:6-8 that we should always meditate on His precepts, sitting, walking, standing, lying down, and rising. We should have them before our eyes and in our hands as a constant mark and sign. Clearly He did not solemnly require and command this without a purpose. For he knows our danger and need, as well as the constant and furious assaults and temptations of devils. He wants to warn, equip, and preserve us against them, as with a good amor against their fiery darts [Ephesians 6:10-17] and with good medicine against their evil infection and temptation.’
Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Longer Preface
“The Christian life is a continuous cycle of prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and temptation. Luther often said he knew he was a Christian because the devil taunted him. The devil wouldn’t waste his time with anyone far from the faith. The irony of the devil’s taunts is that it drives us back to the Word for refuge.”
Paraphrasing Dr John Kleinig
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” – Romans 8:17
“For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” – 2 Corinthians 1:5
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10
“But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” – 1 Peter 4:13
“But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.”
1 Peter 2:20(b)-21
“If you have a heart that can expect of Him nothing but what is good – especially in need and distress – and a heart that also renounces and forsakes everything that is not God, then you have the only true God. If, on the contrary, your heart clings to anything else from which it expects more good and help than from God, and if your heart does not take refuge in Him but flees from Him when in trouble, then you have an idol, another god.”
Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Explanation on the First Commandment “You shall have no other gods”.
“A person’s entire heart and all his confidence must be placed in God alone and in no one else. For to “have” God, you can easily see, is not to take hold of Him with our hands or to put Him in a bag <like money> or to lock Him in a chest <like silver vessels>. Instead, to “have” Him means that the heart takes hold of Him and clings to Him. To cling to Him with the heart is nothing else than to trust in Him entirely. For this reason God wishes to turn us away from everything else that exists outside him and to draw us to Himself [John 6:44]. For He is the only eternal good [Matthew 19:17].”
Martin Luther, Large Catechism, Explanation of the First Commandment “You shall have no other gods”.