That You May Taste and Prove

Why do you suffer? Because God does not – and will not – forsake you.

“When faith begins, God does not forsake it; He lays the holy cross on our backs to strengthen us and to make faith powerful in us. The holy Gospel is a powerful Word. Therefore it cannot do its work without trials, and only he who tastes it is aware that it has such power.

Where suffering and the cross are found, there the Gospel can show and exercise its power. It is a Word of life. Therefore it must exercise all its power in death. In the absence of dying and death it can do nothing, and no one can become aware that it has such power and is stronger than sin and death. Therefore the apostle says ‘to prove you’; that is God inflicts no glowing fire or heat – cross and suffering, which make you burn – on you for any other purpose than ‘to prove you,’ whether you also cling to His Word. This is is recorded in Wisd. of Sol. 10:12 of Jacob: “God sent him an arduous contest, so that he might know that godliness is more powerful than anything.”

God lays a cross on all believers in order that they may taste and prove the power of God – the power which they have taken hold of through faith.”

– Martin Luther (Treasury of Daily Prayer, Writing for December 2nd)