For the devil is lord of the world. I myself could never believe this, that the devil should be the lord and god of the world. But I experienced often enough that this too is an article of faith: He is “prince of the world, god of this age.” However—God be praised—this is not believed by the children of men, and I myself do not fully believe it. For everyone thinks he knows best and hopes that the devil is beyond the ocean and God is tucked in our pocket.
But it is for the sake of the godly who wish to be saved that we must live, preach, write, do, and suffer all. Otherwise, if one contemplates the devil and the false brethren, it seems better not to preach, to write, or to do anything, but only to die early and be buried. For they pervert and revile all things and convert them into objects of offense and damage, just as the devil drives and leads them to do. It is inevitable that we struggle and suffer. We cannot be any better than the dear prophets and apostles who also had the same experience. (Luther’s Works, v.47, p.113-114)