EASTER – WEEK 1 – THURSDAY
LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 2:14-17
I can do all things in him [Christ] who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
If I really believe from the bottom of my heart that my Lord Jesus Christ, by His resurrection from the dead, has gained the victory over all that can distress me (sin, death, and all evil); that He wants to be close to me and with me so that there is nothing lacking to me in body and soul; that in Him I have enough of everything and that no misfortune can harm me; if I really believe all this, it becomes impossible for me to become faint-hearted and weak, no matter how heavily sin or even death press upon me.
Faith is an ever-present reality telling me, “If sins oppress you and death terrifies you, fix your whole attention on Christ. He died and rose again for your sake; He has overcome all misfortune; what can really harm you?”
If any other misfortune, such as sickness or poverty, presses heavily upon you, close your eyes to it and do not let your reason gain the upper hand. Cast yourself upon Christ and cling to Him; in this way, you will be strengthened and comforted. If you look to Christ and rest your faith in Him, no evil that you may encounter is so great that it can really harm you and make you despondent. Where true faith exists, peace must also follow. It cannot be otherwise.
SL 11:728 (9)
PRAYER: Thanks and praise be to You, heavenly Father, for the riches of all the blessings available to us in and through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially the wonderful peace of heart and mind which is ours even in the midst of trial and tribulation. Keep us ever in Your love and grace, in and through Jesus our Savior. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 2:352-63.