Peaceful Troubles

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Original photo by Eric Swensson

Daily Reform, 1 Peter 1:17-25

From the Reformer

The third work of this Commandment is to call upon God’s Name in every need. For this God regards as keeping His Name holy and greatly honoring it, if we name and call upon it in adversity and need. And this is really why He sends us so much trouble, suffering, adversity and even death, and lets us live in many wicked, sinful affections, that He may thereby urge man and give him much reason to run to Him, to cry aloud to Him, to call upon His holy Name, and thus to fulfill this work of the Second Commandment, as He says in Psalm 50: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me; for I desire the sacrifice of praise.” And this is the way whereby thou canst come unto salvation; for through such works man perceives and learns what God’s Name is, how powerful it is to help all who call upon it; and whereby confidence and faith grow mightily, and these are the fulfilling of the first and highest Commandment. This is the experience of David, Psalm 54: “Thou hast delivered me out of all trouble; therefore will I praise Thy Name and confess that it is lovely and sweet.” And Psalm 91 says, “Because he hath set his hope upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will help him, because he hath known My Name.”

—Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works

Pulling It Together

She took her 15 medications every day as the doctor prescribed. You might say she did it religiously. Still, each morning and evening, she read her devotional booklet and scriptures and prayed for her pastor and family and for what she knew of the world. In time, one by one, her medications failed her and her doctor knew of nothing else to do or say but to pray with her. She comforted his troubled heart with some good words from the Scripture and assured him that God was faithful. Then she died in peace.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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