Years after Luther stayed at the Castle Coburg during the Diet of Augsburg, a friend visited the room he had used as a study and found that Luther had written on the walls the thoughts that stabilized him day by day.  They included:

“There are times when, for the sake of God’s word, we must endure the hardship, anguish and persecution which the holy cross brings upon us.  In such times we can rightfully bestir and strengthen ourselves with God’s help in such a way that we can be bold, alert and cheerful, committing our cause to God’s gracious and fatherly will.”

“It would neither be good nor prudent to take matters into our own hands, because we could and would easily be defeated.”

“If we perish, then Christ the Almighty Ruler of the world himself must suffer with us.  Even if this cause [the Reformation] were to collapse, I would much rather be ruined with Christ than rule with Caesar.”

“If this cause, this doctrine, be a mistaken one, why do we not recant?  But if it be a righteous cause – and as true as God lives and will remain in eternity, it is such – why do we make lies out of God’s many comforting, unchanging and eternal promises?”

“Even though we worry and fret so much, such needless anxiety will avail us nothing.  We only plague and trouble ourselves and make matters all the worse.  God wants us to look on him as our God and Father in Christ, to call upon him in every time of need and to be confident that he will provide for us.”

“Though, if God so ordains, we ourselves might be destroyed for the sake of his word, the Almighty and Merciful God who in Christ has become our Father, will then be a kind and gracious father and guardian, defender and protector for our wives and children, our widows and orphans, and he will manage matters a thousand times better than we could if we were living.”

“Thus we are ever firmly assured by God’s word that after this wretched and fleeting existence, in which we are never safe for even one moment, there shall be an eternal and blessed life and kingdom.”

“Let us be calmly confident in this cause which has to do with God’s word.  Christ, whose cause it is, will staunchly defend and uphold it against the cunning of the vile devil and the tyranny of the wicked and deceitful world.  For those who confess him before this evil and adulterous generation and must suffer much thereby, Christ in turn will confess them before his heavenly Father and requite them for their suffering with the delights of eternity.”

Gustav K. Wiencke, editor, Luther’s Works, Volume 43: Devotional Writings II (Philadelphia, 1968), pages 171-177.

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2 thoughts on “How Luther found comfort”

  1. theoldadam says:

    Great quotes!

    Love Luther!

    What a bulldog for Christ.

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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