Archive for July 1st, 2017

“Christ made known long before…that His true disciples would also suffer: “I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a mans enemies will be those in his own household” (Mat. 10:35). When these things then befall us, we should not be disheartened; but we should be glad that we are like Christ in this.

            The greater the suffering, the greater the reward. Of course, we suffer more when it is caused by friends than when it is caused by enemies; thus, the reward later will be that much the greater. The greater the suffering, the nearer is Christ; for Christ’s life was constant suffering. The nearer Christ is, the better the Christian; this is why a Christian can boast of his suffering (Rom. 5:3)—because it makes him like Christ.

            The Lord God at times permits such suffering to come from friends; this is so that we will not cling to them with too great love and thereby forget God. When our own friends revile and persecute us, we see that we should not rely on humans but alone on God; we can then say with David in Psalm 27:10: “When my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord takes me in”

(From a Sermon by Pastor Johann Gerhard)

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