#49 The Christian Art of Suffering

For this is the Christian art, which we must all learn, the art of looking to the Word and looking away from all the trouble and suffering that lies upon us and weighs us down. But the flesh is utterly incapable of this art, it sees no farther than the present suffering. For this also is the way of the devil; he removes the Word far from one’s eyes, so that one sees nothing but the present difficulty, just as he is doing with us now. What he wants is that we should deny and forget the Word altogether and gaze only at the danger which threatens us from the pope and the Turks. Then if he wins the play, he drowns us in the difficulty, so that we see nothing but its rush and roar. But this should not be. For this is what happens: when a person wants to be a Christian and acts according to his feelings, he soon loses Christ. Drive the suffering and cross from your heart and mind as quickly as you can; otherwise if you think about it for long the evil grows worse. If you have affliction and suffering, say: I have myself not chosen and prepared this cross; it is because of the Word of God that I am suffering and that I have and teach Christ. So let it be in God’s name. I will let him take care of it and fight it out who long ago foretold that I should have this suffering and promised me his divine and gracious help. (Luther’s Works, v.51, p.203-204)

Posted in 2021 Persecution.