August 4

For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.  Galatians 5:5

Very few people know how weak and feeble faith and hope can be when they are suffering and struggling under a cross.  At such times, faith and hope appear to be “a smoldering wick” that a strong wind could easily blow out (Isaiah 42:3).  But during these terrifying struggles, some continue to believe and hope, even when it seems there is nothing left to hope for (Romans 4:18).  Trusting in the promises of Christ, they fight against the feelings of sin and God’s wrath.  Eventually they will experience this little flicker of faith; at least this is how faith appears to their human reason, because they can hardly sense it.  They will watch this flicker of faith become a great fire that will fill the entire heavens and devour all terror and sin (2 Peter 3:10-12).

Truly faithful people have nothing more precious in the whole world than this teaching on faith.  They hold on to it tightly, and they know what the whole world doesn’t.  They know that sin, death, misfortune, and physical and spiritual evils work for the good of God’s chosen ones.  Likewise, they know that God is nearest to them when he seems to be farthest away.  He is the most merciful and truly a Savior when he seems to be angry and punishing them.  They know that they have eternal righteousness when they are feeling the terrors of sin and death the most.  With hope, they look for eternal righteousness as their certain possession laid aside for them in heaven.  They are lords over all things when they are the poorest – as Paul says, “having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10).  This is what Scripture calls receiving comfort through hope.  But we can’t learn this skill without going through many great trials.

Martin Luther: Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.

The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

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