THE WEEK OF TRINITY XX – THURSDAY

LESSON: PHILIPPIANS 4:4‒7

“Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” John 16:22

We must learn to accept and to believe the Word. Christ Himself proclaims this Word to us, and God has commanded us to believe it as the truth. To reject this Word is tantamount to calling Christ a liar. We must learn to believe and trust the Word despite what our feelings may be inclined to suggest to us.

If you are to believe the Word, you cannot cling to what your own thoughts or feelings may suggest. You must cling to God’s Word, no matter how little you actually feel or experience it. If you are a person who realizes his need and wretchedness, and have a hearty desire to participate in the consolation and love of Christ, give your ears and heart to Christ. Take hold of the comforting picture presented in the Gospel (Matthew 22:1‒14), in which He shows that He wants you to acknowledge Him and believe in Him. You can be sure, He has an even deeper love and concern for you than any earthly bridegroom has for his beloved bride. On the other hand, He expects such a heartfelt confidence and joy from you towards Himself that it exceeds that of any bride for her bridegroom.

We could all probably find any amount of cause here to reprehend our unbelief and declare, “If such warm, heartfelt confidence and joy can be found between a bride and bridegroom, after all a rather insignificant and transient matter, why do I not find greater joy in my godly and faithful Savior Christ, who gave Himself for me as my very own possession? What a wretched thing this unbelief is! It keeps my heart from being full of laughter and eternal joy.”

SL.XI.1752,13
AE. 79:213-223

PRAYER: Lord, remove from us all diffidence, lukewarmness, and unbelief, and confirm us in the full joy of salvation, which is always ours in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.