THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY IV – FRIDAY
LESSON: PSALM 31:1-8
When I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
The Gospel (of the stilling of the tempest) consoles and emboldens us in two ways. When we encounter persecution for the sake of God’s Word, we may say, “Christ is in the ship, and, therefore, the sea and the wind rage, and the waves fall on the ship and try to sink us. But let them rage! God’s purposes stand fast: the wind and the sea owe Him obedience. Persecution will last no longer than He wills it. Even if persecutions come upon us, they must still be subject to Him. He is Lord of all things, and hence nothing can really harm us. O that He would help us, so that we do not become faint-hearted in unbelief! Amen.”
The fact that the men marveled and praised the Lord because the wind and sea were subject to Him indicates that the Gospel, God’s Word, spreads further and further and becomes stronger through persecution. Faith also increases under such conditions.
This seems very strange when we compare this situation with secular benefits. These decline when misfortune strikes and opposition is encountered; they increase under good fortune and peaceful conditions. Christ’s kingdom is strengthened in tribulation and declines under peace and comfortable conditions, as St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians: “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
PRAYER: Lord God, our loving heavenly Father, make true the assurances of help and support, which you have so often given us in your Word, so that, in every need, we cling to these assurances in and through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.