We must pray that God's will be done. For there will be strange events if we are to abide in God's will... We shall have to suffer many thrusts and blows on that account from everything that seeks to oppose and prevent the fulfillment of the first two petitions.
No one can believe how the devil opposes and resists these prayers. He cannot allow anyone to teach or to believe rightly. It hurts him beyond measure to have his lies and abominations exposed, which have been honored under the most fancy, sham uses of the divine name… He rages as a fierce enemy with all his power and might… So he provokes the world against us, fans and stirs the fire, so that he may cause us to fall, and again bring us under his power…
If we would be Christians, therefore, we must surely expect and count on having the devil with all his angels and the world as our enemies. They will bring every possible misfortune and grief upon us. For where God's Word is preached, accepted, or believed and produces fruit, there the holy cross cannot be missing. And let no one think that he shall have peace. He must risk whatever he has upon earth—possessions, honor, house and estate, wife and children, body and life. This hurts our flesh and the old Adam. The test is to be steadfast and to suffer with patience in whatever way we are assaulted, and to let go whatever is taken from us (paragraphs 61-63, 65-66)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.