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Daily Reform, Revelation 21:22-27
From the Reformer
Ah God, from heav’n look down and see,
And let compassion move Thee,
How few, alas! Thy servants be,
How helpless those who love Thee.
Thy Word is suffer’d not to stand,
And Faith seems quench’d on ev’ry hand
In this dark time of trouble.
False teachings now men spread abroad,
Mere schemes of men’s invention,
Not grounded on God’s own true Word,
And so they breed dissension;
Their outward seeming may be fair,
But one goes here, another there,
And tends the Church asunder.
Therefore, saith God, I will arise,
These men my poor are wronging,
I hear my people’s bitter sighs,
And I will grant their longing;
My striving Word shall take the field,
Shall be the poor man’s strength and shield,
And all my foes shall conquer.
As silver that through fire hath passed
Is pure from all its drosses,
So shall God’s Word shine forth at last
The brighter for these crosses;
Through trial is its power made known,
Till all men far and near shall own
How pure and strong its glory.
Therefore, O God, preserve it pure
From all that would abuse it,
And in the Faith our hearts secure,
That we may never lose it;
For trouble and rebuke shall be
Among the people—when we see
Ungodly men exalted.
—Martin Luther, “Ach Gott, vom Himmel Sieh Darein,” 1523
Pulling It Together
It is all about the promise. Faith does seem to be quenched on every hand in these dark and troubling times. But be sure of this: it only seems so. “God’s word [will] shine forth at last.” For the hopeful, the promise may shine in her spirit even now, overpowering the darkness. Why wait to see the light when you may live in it now? By faith, one quenches the darkness and lives in the promise. Doing so will begin to accustom your eyes to a far brighter Light—and he is about to break over the horizon.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers