When the Going Gets Tough

“When the going gets tough” is the first part of the saying – the remainder of it is, “The tough get going. “ And what about the one that goes like this – “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall but how many times to get back up.” Also one hears, “God helps those that help themselves”  and “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps. “

All of these are meant to encourage and lift up one who is having a rough time in life. This is how the world sees adversity.  Just go to your local book store, library or on line and search “self help” and you will be inundated by all sorts of advice.

This is a very lucrative business; there are self help books from everything to better sleep to healing cancer. They all have one thing in common.  It is all about what you should/can do to make things better.

But, what if all these methods fail and you undergo yet another tragedy? What then? Well, the world has an answer for that too.  You can move to one of the states that sanction assisted suicide.  You get to end your torment and the assistant does not get prosecuted for manslaughter/murder.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States as of 2010, more people died of suicide than in car accidents. In 2010, the total number of suicide deaths in the United States was 38,364.

A startling fact is that suicide occurs among Christians at essentially the same rate as non-Christians. This is a shocking revelation to many Christians. Aren’t we supposed to be protected from such devastating suffering that we would be driven to end our own lives?

Not really. Our Lord makes it quite clear in His scriptures that we must suffer with Him so that His glory might be ours in the resurrection. See Phil 1:29 and Eph 6:0, 11, 16, and Rom 8:17.

You see, as Christians we have no right to end our own life anymore than we have the right to end someone else’s life. We have been called by God. And  through His Son’s spilled blood on Calvary we are His.  We do not belong to ourselves; we belong to God.  Jer. 1:5, Job 10:11-12, 2 Tim. 1:9, Titus 1:2.

This ‘purchase’ occurred at our baptism and is strengthened each time we go to the Lord’s Table and receive God’s gifts of redemption and forgiveness at Divine Service.

The prince of the world, Satan may attack us; Once when Martin Luther was asked the question, are the evil thoughts that pop into my head a sin? And Martin Luther said, the birds of the air may fly over your head but they must not make a nest in your hair.

But as baptized Christians we wear the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God gives us His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us; that He will be with us always. Heb 13:5b, matt 28:20b.

It is in our weakness where God is our strength. The world at large, the non-believers have no such security in this life. It is all about them and what they can do.

Thanks be to God that we have Him who did and does everything for us.

Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress” states of Satan that a single word can slay him. LSB 656 v. That little word is baptized.

So when adversity hits us, we turn to Him who called us by our name, formed us in our mother’s womb and sent His only Son to buy us back into complete reconciliation with Him.

What a blessing baptism is; we are members of God’s forever family.

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