Title: Why Are You Cast down?
Author: Martin Luther
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”
God deals strangely with His saints, contrary to all human wisdom and understanding, to the end, that those who fear God and are good Christians, may learn to depend on invisible things, and through mortification may be made alive again; for God’s Word is a light that shines in a dark place, as all examples of faith show. Esau was accursed, yet it went well with him; he was lord in the land, and priest in the church; but Jacob had to fly, and dwell in poverty, in another country.
God deals with godly Christians much as with the ungodly, yea, and sometimes far worse. He deals with them even as a house-father with a son and a servant; He whips and beats the son much more and oftener than the servant, yet, nevertheless, He gathers for the son a treasure to inherit, while a stubborn and a disobedient servant He beats not with the rod, but thrusts out of doors, and gives him nothing of the inheritance.
It is often asked: Why desperate wretches have such good days, and live a long time in jollity and pleasure, to their heart’s desire, with health of body, fine children, etc., while God allows the godly to remain in calamity, danger, anguish and want all their lives; yea, and some to die also in misery, as St. John the Baptist did, who was the greatest saint on earth, to say nothing of our only Saviour Jesus Christ. The prophets have all written much hereof, and shown how the godly should overcome such doubts, and comfort themselves against them. Jeremiah says, “Why goeth it so well with the ungodly, and wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” But further on, “Thou sufferest them to go at liberty like sheep that are to be slain, and thou preparest them for the day of slaughter.” Read also Psalms xxxvii., xlix., lxxiii.
God is not therefore angry with His children, though He scourge and punish them; but He is angry with the ungodly that do not acknowledge Christ to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, but blaspheme and condemn the Word; such are to expect no grace and help of Him. And, indeed, He does not Himself scourge and beat His small and poor flock that depend on Christ; but suffers them to be chastened and beaten, when they become ever secure and unthankful unto Him for His unspeakable graces and benefits shown unto them in Christ, and are disobedient to His Word; then permits He that the devil bruise our heels, and send pestilence and other plagues unto us; and that tyrants persecute us, and this for our good, that thereby we may be moved, and in a manner forced to turn ourselves unto Him, to call upon Him, to seek help and comfort from Him, through Christ.
* * *
Editor & Publisher,