Thursday, July 9, 2015

Luther on Faith...

The great art and power of faith consist in seeing that which is not seen and in not seeing that which is nonetheless felt, aye, which oppresses and depresses a person; just as unbelief sees only what it feels and does not at all like to cling to that which it does not feel.

Therefore God does not confront faith with trivial things but with such things as all the world cannot bear, like death, sin, the world, and the devil. For all the world is not able to stand up against death but flees from it, is frightened by it, and is overpowered by it. But faith stands fast and battles with death, which devours all the world, and gains the victory over it and devours the insatiable devourer of human life.

Is not faith, which can hold its own against such mighty enemies and attain the victory, an almighty and unspeakably grand matter? Therefore St. John well says 1 John 5:4: "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." Not that this is done in peace and undisturbed quietness, for it is a battle that is waged not without wounds and blood. Aye, in this battle the heart feels sin, death, the flesh, the devil, and the world so severely that it thinks it is surely lost, that sin and death have won, and that the devil has gained the upper hand. It feels little of the power of faith.

—Martin Luther*

*Unsure of origin of source. Located on PrayNow application from Concordia Publishing House

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