November 8, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 48

“Our works do not save us. Just so also our cross and suffering do not save us. Christ alone is our salvation. He has completed the task by His death and cross. If you believe this, you are saved and have eternal life, into which you will then enter through your death as through a door.”

Martin Luther



Only the sufferings of Christ have any redeeming value. Our sufferings and the crosses we bear do not lead to salvation, only the faith by which we bear them, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).


It’s easy to get lost in our sufferings. They take an emotional toll on us and captivate our every waking moment, especially when those sufferings come by way of doing the right things.


It’s common to wonder why we’re going through them and to feel we deserve better. Its rational that we might expect more from God because of our goodness in weathering through the storms.


Despite whatever discipline we gain from going through them, however, our sufferings and afflictions in themselves never grant us special favor. They never acquire special merit just because the faithful have endured.


The Apostle Peter said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). These tests happen because we live in a fallen world. They should not be surprising. In fact, if you are not undergoing any trials because of your faith, then maybe it’s a sign that you’re not doing enough through that faith.


So, what attitude should we take regarding our sufferings. For this we go back to Peter who said, “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1). We are to take on our sufferings in faith, knowing that “it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17).


Today, arm yourself for your sufferings, whether they be major or minor, with faith in Jesus Christ, who underwent the greatest of sufferings so that we might bear our sufferings with hope.


Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to endure any sufferings we might face with a faith in You that cannot be shaken. Help us to hold on to the hope that only You can provide. Amen.