Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Spiritual Weariness

Pastor’s Window for January 2010
Spiritual Weariness

Beloved in the Lord,

It happens to all of us at some time or another, that we get spiritually weary. I’m defining spiritual weariness rather broadly, to include all those times when, to one degree or another, our devotional and prayer discipline becomes dry or tedious, perhaps we become lazy, church attendance becomes a chore rather than a joy, and we fail to heed the exhortation of St. Paul, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16; ESV). Ultimately sin and the weakness of our fallen flesh is the cause of our weariness. Sometimes these bouts of weariness are more subtle. Other times they can be so fierce that we see the “flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16) for what they are. In each case we are reminded that our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

It seems like the devil steps up his attacks around Christmas time. I think there are two reasons for this. First, Christmas offers him a unique opportunity. Everyone has impossible expectations for Christmas. We think the holly and the ivy, the tinsel and the perfectly wrapped Christmas presents, the trimmed tree, the yule log, and the Christmas goose will automatically lead to world peace, or at least peace among the family members, and to true happiness. It never does. And the devil has opportunity here both to direct our attention away from Jesus and to all the trappings of the holiday, and then to bitterly disappoint us when everything doesn’t turn out perfectly. He leads us to forget that the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the real gift of Christmas, and that the forgiveness of sins He has won for us gives us peace with God and eternal life in heaven.

Second, the devil steps up his attacks around Christmas time because Christmas is a great challenge to him. Even rank unbelievers sing about the birth of Jesus Christ this time of year. Turn on your radio, and you’ll hear any number of secular musicians singing about salvation in Christ. It’s a great irony, and I think it must be very frustrating for the devil and his demons.

But whenever such weariness sets in, whenever the devil attacks, Christians must be aware of the unseen, spiritual forces that are at work, and be equipped to weather the storm. What should you do when you are spiritually weary? The easiest thing is to not go to church, not receive Christ’s gifts in the Sacrament, not read the Scriptures, not pray. But then the devil has you right where he wants you, with your defenses down. No, when you are spiritually weary, that is precisely the time you should be in church, you should read the Scriptures, you should pray. Don’t be afraid to use the resources of the Christian Church, like prayer books and particularly your hymnal. Treasury of Daily Prayer by CPH, as well as The Lutheran Study Bible are great resources. Pray the Psalms especially, and the Lord’s Prayer, and read your Catechism. And remember that the Lord is faithful even when you are not. He allows you to go through these times of spiritual weariness and assault so that you don’t rely on yourself, or even on your own spirituality or devotional life. He wants you to rely on Him alone. For He alone is able to keep you from stumbling, to preserve you when you are under attack, and keep you in the one true faith. The devil is too strong for you. The devil is stronger than the whole world. But God is infinitely stronger than the devil and all his demons combined.

When you are spiritually weary or under the crafts and assaults of the devil, remember the beloved hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” (LSB 656). “With might of ours can naught be done, Soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is, Of Sabaoth Lord, And there’s none other God; He holds the field forever” (v. 2). He holds you forever. He holds you safely in the palms of His pierced hands. So don’t give in to the weariness. Behold your Lord Jesus Christ, the crucified. Hide yourself in His wounds. Turn to Him. He will help you. He will sustain you. And though you have to pass through trials and tribulations, now, for a little while, remember: “Our vict’ry has been won; The Kingdom ours remaineth” (v. 4).

Christ our Lord strengthen and keep you all,
Pastor Krenz


Blogger Emily said...

Pastor Krenz

Great post! We are so glad to hear that you are using and loving CPH's resources, such as the Lutheran Service Book, The Lutheran Study Bible, and the Treasury of Daily Prayer.

Plus, what an awesome message about relying on our Lord in times of spiritual weariness. Isn't it so true that on our own two feet we will fall, but in His hands we stand triumphant. God's blessings on you and thank you again for your excellent post!

Emily Barlean
Marketing Communications Specialist
Concordia Publishing House

4:57 PM  
Blogger Pastor Krenz said...

Thank you, Emily... We appreciate all that you do at CPH. Thank you for your fine products that proclaim God's living Word so clearly.

11:22 AM  

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