#2 Despite Persecution, Greatly Gladdened by the Word’s Small Successes

Therefore I could not refrain from visiting you in the spirit with this letter to tell you of my joy. For I can truthfully boast that the condemnation and persecution of the pope and all the world do not offend and sadden me as much as I am strengthened and delighted when I hear that a person grasps and praises the tender truth. How much more it comforts me when I discovered and daily do discover that this truth has been recognized so zealously by you and others of your class, and is openly confessed. God mercifully permits me to see that his Word does not go forth in vain, as he declares in Isaiah 44 [55:11], in order to comfort me so that my faith will grow stronger and so that I will not have only sadness. He also informs me that all the world opposes this, as he says in Matthew 24 [:9], “You must be hateful to all nations for my name’s sake.”  (Luther’s Works, v.43, p.61-62)

Picture: At the top of the etching, a dove is hovering with seven rays extending down to the seven branches of the lampstand.  Above the dove are the words, “The Spirit of God is yours/for you.’  Each of the seven rays is designated with the words:
To receive eternal life (Romans 5:16)
To strengthen (Ephesians 3:16)
To satisfy (Romans 14:7)
To comfort (Romans 15:12)
To sanctify (Romans 1:4)
To enlighten (1 Corinthians 12)
To ignite (Romans 12:11)
[All of the pictures for this year’s posts are from an etching entitled “Augsburg Confession” by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) and found in the Royal Collection Trust.]

Posted in 2021 Persecution.

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