Fifth Sunday after Trinity – Sunday
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. – Psalm 91:10.
Thus does God put you at ease, child of God. And Dr. Luther in his Small Catechism, in accordance with this promise, teaches you to believe that God defends you against all danger, and guards and protects you from all evil. – But how is this? Is there not much evil that comes upon us in this life? Is it not possible for plagues to befall us? Have not our own experiences taught us a thousand times that we Christians must contend with evil? Does not also Scripture teach the very same thing?
Think of the story of Joseph and the evil that he suffered at the hands of his brothers and Potiphar’s wife! But, listen, what does this very story of Joseph show? It shows that God makes all the evil that may be done to us to work together for our good, according to His promise in Romans 8:28. Even Joseph finally said to his brothers who had steeped his soul in bitter grief: “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Just so does God deal with you if you are His child.
Everything that befalls you, though it may be morally evil (sin), must contribute to your welfare, to the good of your eternal soul. And hence, as far as your own welfare is concerned, such things are blessings under God’s gracious direction, and not evil nor a plague. My dear Christian, this life is as nothing compared with the blessed life hereafter. There all will be glorious beyond comprehension. Your heavenly Father, who dearly loves you, sometimes, it is true, permits something to befall you which seems very hard to bear. But in each and every instance it is merely a well-planned and foreordained station on the way to eternal life to which He is taking you under His guidance. And thus He, in loving kindness, controls and limits what He has determined you to suffer.
Be comforted by, and put your trust in the promise He gives you in the above Scripture text. And “commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
PRAYER – My dear Heavenly Father, give me, I implore Thee, a childlike mind to trust in Thee implicitly, and firmly to believe that Thou dost safely guide me and dost deal well with me. And when I am brought to tears and grief, help me to lift up mine eyes to Thee, and to seek consolation and help with Thee, for Thou art my dearly beloved Father in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Through deserts of the cross Thou leadest; I follow, leaning on Thy hand.
From out the cloud Thy child Thou feedest And givest water from the sand.
I trust Thy ways, howe’er distressing; I know my path will end in blessing;
Enough that Thou wilt be my Stay. For whom to honor Thou intendest
Oft into sorrow’s vale Thou sendest; The night must e’er precede the day.
(TLH) Hymn 362, 3