Invisible Progress and Success

In Your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let Your right hand teach You awesome deeds!
PSALM 45:4
Invisible Progress and Success
Rouse yourself. Do not give in to evils, but go forth more boldly against them. Hold on. Do not be disheartened either by contempt or ingratitude within or by agitation and raging without. But think as follows: "When I am weak, I am strongest (2 Corinthians 12:10); when I am suppressed, I rise up, as a palm rises up under its burden." So they thought that we had perished at Augsburg, but there we rose highest of all. Similarly it is in sorrow, when we are the closest to despair, that hope rises the highest. So today, when there is the greatest contempt and weariness with the Word, the true glory of the Word begins. Therefore we should learn to understand this verse as speaking of invisible progress and success. Our King enjoys success and good fortune even though you do not see it. Moreover, it would not be expedient for us to see this success, for then we would be puffed up. Now, however, He raises us up through faith and gives us hope. Even though we see no fruit of the Word, still we can be certain that fruit will not be wanting but will certainly follow; for so it is written here. . .. He is the kind of king who will have success, steadfastness, and victory—if not in this place and time, then at another time and place.

From Lectures on Psalm 45 (Luther's Works 12:220-21)
June 15
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