Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday of Lent 5

Wednesday of Lent 5, April 5, 2017 Psalm 43:5    

Psalm 43:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

Conversing with his soul, the psalmist recognizes intense grief. Consider Christ in Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:38. The church father Jerome said, “Never let suggestions of evil grow on you…Slay the enemy while he is small…nip the evil in the bud.” We hope in God during exile and sorrow.  1

An old Arab proverb says, “All sunshine and no rain makes for a desert.” The Lord encourages us to remain faithful despite grief or loss. Even in the midst of peril, pain and suffering. Suffering, of any kind, has become the great enemy of our culture.  Thus, decisions are made with the specific intent of avoiding suffering. At all costs. 

But, God’s promise is simply this. He works great things in your life. Even through suffering and sorrow.  The Apostle Paul summarizes this point beautifully in his letter to the Romans.  “We rejoice in our sufferings. Because suffering produces perseverance. And perseverance character. And character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame.  Because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. –Romans 5:3-4  So where is your hope? How do you express such hope especially in difficult times? 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, renew in us the gifts of your mercy; increase our faith, strengthen our hope, enlighten our understanding, widen our charity, and make us ready to serve you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen  2
[1] Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Collect for Wednesday of Lent 5,
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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