Another Day, Another Struggle, but that is why there is Hope.
Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 Our LORD, how long must I beg for your help before you listen? How long before you save us from all this violence? 3 Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere? 4 Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around. 5 Look and be amazed at what’s happening among the nations! Even if you were told, you would never believe what’s taking place now. Habakkuk 1:2-5 (CEV)
We still stumble daily and transgress because we live in the world among people who sorely vex us and give us occasion for impatience, wrath, vengeance, etc.
87 Besides, Satan is at our backs, besieging us on every side and, as we have heard, directing his attacks against all the previous petitions, so that it is not possible always to stand firm in such a ceaseless conflict.
88 Here again there is great need to call upon God and pray, “Dear Father, forgive us our debts.” Not that he does not forgive sin even without and before our prayer; and he gave us the Gospel, in which there is nothing but forgiveness, before we prayed or even thought of it. But the point here is for us to recognize and accept this forgiveness.
223 Along the way to personal sanctity we can at times get the impression that we are going backwards instead of forwards, that we are getting worse instead of better. As long as there is interior struggle this pessimistic thought is only an illusion, a deception to be rejected as false. Persevere and don’t worry. If you fight with tenacity you are making progress and are growing in sanctity.
I came across the Luther quote this morning, and it resonated with me.
We stumble and sin far too often. We want to use other people for the reason, but it is still our weakness that allows us to sin. Luther was right, it is not possible always to stand firm in such a ceaseless conflict. Every fall seems highlighted by Satan, emphasized to cause us to grow in despair, and even to doubt God’s presence and work in our lives.
My reaction to the passage from Habakkuk is that I don’t have ot look out into the world to see the brokenness he describes. He could be looking at me, prophetically. Maybe at you as well. I resonate deeply with the question of why do we have ot watch this all? Why do we have to see the sin and brokenness in the world, and then realize it is just a reflection of our own lives?
I missed out on other things in those passages, and it took St Josemaria to see what I was missing.
It is the impression that I am going backward, not necessarily reality. It is a deception of Satan, much as he did when he took Peter’s eyes off of Jesus while he was strolling on the waves. (I just realize the winds and waves weren’t the issue to be scared of – drowning was!) St Josemaria urges us to keep struggling, don’t worry about the progress, for the struggle is proof of it.
The struggle is proof of God at work in us.
God is still doing what He promised Habakkuk – He is at work, and if we look at Him and see it, we should collapse in awe. God is at work, and even the passage from Luther notes that – we need to recognize and accept the forgiveness God already provided. He forgave us already! He took care of it!
I didn’t see that beforehand but reminded of His promise, I remember He is there. Perhaps that too is understandable, for God says, “Even if you were told, you would never believe what is taking place now…” We just have to trust Him that He is at the world, and depend on His view, for He is at work in us.
Mercifully, lovingly, compassionately comforting and healing broken sinners like you and me.
Even before we cry out, “Lord have mercy on me, a poor sinner!” God has, and our healing is beginning and guaranteed to be completed!
Theodore G. Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959), 432.E
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on July 7, 2020, in Augsburg and Trent, Book of Concord, Devotions, Martin Luther, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Forge, Theology in Practice and tagged despair, hope, lspiritual direction, sin, spiritual weariness, struggle. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.