You Do Not Suffer Alone

Friends are having babies. Neighbors are celebrating a new grandchild. Teenagers are welcoming twins. We sit at home, in our quiet homes, alone. But take heart, dear friend, you are not alone in your suffering. Christians around the world have been suffering for years.

Resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:9)

Take comfort in the pastor’s words on this passage of Scripture: In such temptations St. Peter comforts the suffering Christians by telling them that they are not the only nor the first souls to be so tempted, as though they had to bear a peculiar, rare, and unheard-of cross and suffering and should think and feel that they alone had to bear it; rather they should know that all their brethren in Christ scattered everywhere have at all times had to suffer thus from the devil and his onslaughts because they were in the world. For it is an immense help and comfort when the sufferer knows that he is not alone but is suffering with a great multitude.

Therefore no man should regard his own anguish and distress as so horrible, as if it were new and had never happened to anyone before. It may well be new to you and you may not have experienced it before, but look around you at all the Christians in our beloved Church from the beginning to this hour, planted in the world to run the devil’s gauntlet and unceasingly winnowed and fanned like wheat.

For where God through His Word and faith has gathered together a Church, the devil cannot be at peace, and where he cannot achieve her destruction through sectarianism he strikes at her with persecution and violence, so that we must risk our body and life in the fight, and all we have.

From Dr. Martin Luther’s sermon on the third Sunday after Trinity in the year 1544.