Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thoughts for the New Year

This time of year is a time of reflection. For many, especially in our part of the nation, this year has been testing in many ways. There are temptations to worry and fret, to doubt and seek deceptive consolations. Here are Gerhard's thoughts:

Accordingly, whoever adheres to God firmly with his love and inwardly enjoys divine consolation cannot have his rest disturbed by external evils. In sad things he is glad; in poverty rich; in the tribulations of this age secure; in the storms of this world tranquil; in the insults and contempt of men peaceful; in death itself alive. He pays no attention to the threats of tyrants because inside he experiences the rich consolations of the divine. He is not saddened by adversity because the Holy Spirit inwardly and effectively consoles him. He does not anguish in poverty because his riches are in the goodness of God. He is not troubled by the insults of men because he enjoys the joy of honor from the divine. He pays no attention to the will of the flesh because he has more satisfaction in the kindness of the Spirit. He does not seek worldly friendships because he knows the joys of friendship with God himself. He does not store up earthly treasures because he has the greatest treasure of all stored up in heaven. He does not fear death because he always lives in God. He does not exceedingly desire worldly wisdom because he has an inner teacher: the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20). The perfect takes away the imperfect (1 Corinthians 13:10). He does not fear lightening and storms, fires and floods of water, unfavorable configurations of planets and darkness of heavenly lights, for, having been elevated above nature, he rests in Christ by faith and lives in him. He is not drawn away by the allurements of this age because he hears the more pleasant voice of Christ within him. He does not fear the power of the devil because he knows divine indulgence. The One who lives within him and conquers is more powerful than the devil, who consumes himself in vain with conquering that man. He does not follow the enticements of the flesh because, living in the Spirit, he perceives the riches of the Spirit. He mortifies and crucifies the flesh by the vivifying Spirit (Galatians 5:24). He does not fear the accusations of the devil because he knows that his intercessor is Christ (1 John 2:1).
May the Author and Giver of this only true rest of the soul, our Lord, God blessed for all the ages, grant it to us.

No comments: