August 13

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.  Genesis 8:1

Being trapped inside that floating container for such a long time was no joke and could hardly be described as fun.  Noah and his family saw the torrential downpour and were tossed back and forth on the rising floodwaters.  Noah felt that God had forgotten them.  Moses makes a point of this when he wrote that God finally remembered Noah and his family.  Through faith, Noah and his family were able to overcome their feelings of abandonment.  But they had to struggle with their human natures.  Because Noah had never experienced anything this serious in the past, he wondered if God would show compassion and remember him and his family.  In the end, they conquered their anxieties.  But it came with a tremendous struggle.  In the same way, young people who want to live a pure and virtuous life must make a determined effort to control their sinful desires.

Our human nature is weak.  It cannot tolerate the idea that God may have forgotten or abandoned us.  We even want to brag and take the credit for ourselves when God remembers us, looks on us with kindness, and give us success.  Is it any wonder that we become hopeless when we feel as though God has abandoned us and everything seems to be going wrong?

Don’t forget that this story gives us a model of faith, patience, and perseverance.  It teaches us that we must believe and trust God.  It also makes us aware of our need for patience.  Yet patience is unnecessary if we have no personal struggles and doubts.  Even Christ calls us to persevere in difficult situations when he says in the New Testament, “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

Martin Luther’s Here I Stand (Audio CD)

In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world. In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms; Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.

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