Suffering and rejoicing

‘It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good. All human suffering, all pain, all infirmity contains within it a promise of salvation: a promise of joy. “I am now rejoicing in my suffering for your sake,” writes Saint Paul (Col 1:24).’

John Paul II, Memory and Identity

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The cycle of a Christian Life

“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

Let your heart be tested and redirected

“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”.

Fix your heart and confidence on this

“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”.

Your grief will pass

“You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

John 16: 20b – 22