Löhe on Rom.8:18

IS the lambI consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom 8:18 NIV)

Let’s deal some more with these words from Romans 8:18. The old enemy lives just as the old and good God is alive and well. Yet he does not have a reason to reveal his evil cunning if we don’t prompt him by confession of our savior and a living faith in Jesus Christ. There have been such confessional times and I am confident that they will come again when people will confess Jesus Christ far and wide. In such times suffering multiplies. Burning, pain and hurt become common place. Such rampant suffering make the comparison of St. Paul even more inviting and promising. As long as you don’t suffer because of Christ and your confession to him it is easy to shrug off this coming glory saying: “That’s nothing!” However if you suffer persecution, if your discriminated against and are hurt and tortured because of your confessional witness to Jesus Christ then such words become extra special. Those are times when we need his bright light and a far stronger base to stand on – one of grace and eternal glories – so that you too can intone faithfully with St. Paul: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom 8:18 NIV) If the heart is carried by such faith and hope it is already blissfully confident even in the midst of dark valleys of death as it is assured that these sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to come. It remains an aberration and a sacrilege if such sufferings are deemed meritorious and the eternal glory as reward of worldly practice.

O righteous, holy God and Lord. Remember your title and name as father and savior and comforter. Do not forsake your congregation eternally, but remember her in all her suffering and do not let the threats and pressures of her enemies torment her too much. We know that it is required of us to bear our cross patiently so that we don’t become arrogant and too haughty, but rather remember you as our only sanctuary and protective shield, our helper and liberator. You have promised that you would not leave us alone in our need. Therefore grant us times of refreshment, recovery, recuperation and healing so that all might perceive how well you take care of your people and inheritance. Do this to silence your enemies and grant that they too will realize that only those who hope in you, are flourishing, whereas evil and those hating you will not triumph, but will pass away in no time. Even if we are afflicted because of your name and righteousness, grant that we may persevere patiently and walk the way of confession bravely and with joy as we carry our cross. You are the one, who stands by us and grants us peace that passes all understanding to those that fear your name. Amen.

Don’t look back or even sideways as you continue towards our good God in eternity. Keep you eyes fixed on Jesus – and your heart and mind and hands – and he’ll save you finally for his name’s and righteousness sake + (Johann Kaspar Lapater, 1741-1801)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Monday after the fourth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 244 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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