For Martin Luther, suffering played a significant role in developing deep, persevering faith in God. Suffering must first empty us of our pride, leading us to find our true joy and sole security in Jesus who is greater than anyone else and anything else. This joy and love, in turn, enables us to face and overcome suffering, as Luther once explained:
“It is God’s nature to make something out of nothing; hence one who is not yet nothing, out of him God cannot make anything, . . . therefore God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise. In short, He has mercy only on those who are wretched.” – Martin Luther
In Hebrews 11:30-40, the author shows how sometimes God provides for those who trust Him with incredible results. Other times, God permits those who trust Him with terrible suffering. But at all times, God promises those who trust Him will receive eternal rewards. Faith trusts God’s promises in spite of present circumstances by looking to eternal rewards in His presence.
sermon by: Larry Murray