Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Our hope and stay in the time of trial 4/21/09
Note: This was written for the April 2009 issue of the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary monthly newsletter by Pastor Jay Weidner. May the Lord comfort he and his son Adam in the loss of their beloved Theresa.

April 2009

Dear Friends,

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5 KJV)

There are two difficulties we face when we go through a time of economic trial as many people in our world are now. On the one hand we can lose hope and become hopeless being driven to despair. Hopelessness is a bad state to find oneself in because it normally leads to depression and a fearful inertia where a person doesn’t know how to act to relieve their situation so they become fearful to act at all. On the other hand we can keep our hope intact but see it only as having future value so that we slog on moping through our earthly lives dejected but hopeful of other worldly relief. Both of these conditions show that at times we have the wrong hope. Our hope is present here and now; it’s Christ who is our hope. We have our glory not just in future deliverance from tribulation but in the midst of the tribulation itself. Christ is with us always that is His promise, but when we begin to focus on the difficulty instead of Christ we lose hope for our situation seems hopeless. Yet we must understand that Christ is with us in the here and now and is showing the love of God toward us through the Holy Spirit even in the midst of trial.

Think of what it was like for the disciples when Jesus was crucified and they returned to the upper room without Him, they were full of despair. Certainly they were questioning what they were going to do with their lives; they were disappointed and filled with fear over what was going to come of them. Then Jesus appeared to them alive on Easter Sunday and cheered their hearts with His peace, gave them His Spirit and assured Him of His abiding presence with them forever. This is how much God loved them; He gave His Son to shed His blood for their sins to secure their redemption, to give them hope. Now even in the darkest of days the love of God by the Holy Spirit sustained them so come what may they went on with joy in their hearts. God doesn’t love us any less and couldn’t love us any greater. We have all the same benefits as the apostles; the love of God by the same Spirit is in our hearts and in the midst of difficulty we are to hold firm in that love, not focusing on the trial but on the Lord of the trial and its resolution. He is our Lord and He loves us to the end. May God spread abroad in our hearts the hope of Easter so that even in our time of trial His love would strengthen and encourage us to hold fast to Him trusting in Him whose hope cannot disappoint. May the hope of the risen Christ be our hope and stay in our time of trial during this Easter season and forever.

God’s Peace,

Jay Weidner
Posted on 21 Apr 2009 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns