Löhe on 1 Peter 5:9

crown-of-thornsResist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1Pe 5:9 NIV)

Our resistance against evil happens through a faithful, trusting and ongoing immersion of our own will in prayer. If we are connected to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ in this prayerful manner and have him as our companion in this conflict, then we are well protected against the evil assaults of the devil. We are strengthened beyond measure by this Christian prayer even if we have a difficult stand against mean assaults and fiendish hatred surrounds us. In these struggles it is a strong comfort to know: “that our brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” The companion- and fellowship in suffering that we share with our faithful and confessional brothers demonstrates the malice and size of our terrible enemy, but far more is the extent of the faithful brotherhood and confessional army that our Lord has mobilized and which is fighting side-by-side under his trusted and victorious leadership. Again it underlines that we don’t have to do with flesh and blood in this ultimate battle, but “rather against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12 NIV) They are intimidating in size, malice and ferocity. Yet the power of our Lord is mighty in our weakness, so that his glory and victory will be all the more imposing and praiseworthy. This victory is often invisible to our weak eyes. It’s the opposite to our physical endeavors just the lord of darkness was actually overcome through cross, suffering, death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our victory is not made up of visible triumphs and an imposing list of successes, which shine brightly in this worlds evaluation and set grand benchmarks in the assessment of the high and mighty, wise and esteemed in this world, but rather in faithful steadfastness and ongoing dependability and persistence. We should know this and stick to it.

Lord, eternal God! We thank you from the very bottom of our heart for your immeasurable goodness with which you seek us poor and miserable sinners, coming towards us to save us from the abyss of suffering and death. Lord, we are nothing, we have nothing, we can do nothing – without your grace. We can’t pray to you without your help and assistance, we can’t plead with you without your forbearance and encouragement, we can’t sing your praises without your inspiration and motivation. Lord, enlighten us, that we may pray properly and appropriately. Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that he may stand in for us and call on our part: “Abba, dear and beloved Father!” Amen. (Friedrich Heiler)

Awake me that I may run my course towards you without delay by Satans nets: Oh God promote my race!

If the waves pound my lives little boat – stretch out your hand and keep me safe: Oh watch day and night!  (Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen, 1670-1739)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Friday after the third Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 240 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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