The Gifts and Anfechtung

To us it is also said in Baptism, in Absolution, in Communion: “I am the Lord your God, do not be troubled! I will care for you! Cast your care on Me! You have a God who has promised that He will care for you.” “And yet I see the contrary,” do you say? “You do, indeed, see the contrary, but it is a trial which is useful for this purpose, that you may learn and experience how kind the Lord is. For if this trial were not added, you would remain in the flesh, stupid and senseless, and would never understand what I mean when I say: ‘I am the Lord your God.’ So it is necessary for you to be instructed and by the actual experience of various trials to learn that I am the Lord your God.” Thus it is written in Deuteronomy 8:4: “He fed you with manna that you might know that it is not only by bread, etc.”

This is not done that you may perish, because Baptism is certain, and the promise and absolution are reliable. What for, then? This is done that you may learn what powerful life there is in the Word and that you may come to this conclusion for yourself: “However harshly I am disciplined and afflicted and come to nothing, it is nevertheless done with this end in view, that I might remember my Baptism and God’s promise; for I have God, who is taking care of me, and about this I am in no doubt at all, even though all things seem to be against me. They are only temptations and testings of my faith, to see whether I believe that God is my Protector.”

Luther’s Works Volume 6, page 364

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