Reflections: Tuesday of the First Week in Lent

February 20, 2024 

Today’s Reading: James 1:12-18

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 7:11-8:12, Mark 3:20-35

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s not a secret. Life is hard. From the toddler that doesn’t get to make any decisions for themselves, to the peer pressure and societal challenges faced by youth and young adults, to the aged whose body is failing them. Life is hard, and life will present you with many difficulties. This is not to scare you or cause you anxiety, but instead it is to prepare and inform you. This is at least what Jesus does when He guarantees trouble in John’s Gospel. It is not a matter of if, but when. Difficulties come in many shapes and sizes. Difficulties that are products of a fallen and sinful world. Difficulties that may even be self-inflicted. Difficulties that may make you cry “Life’s not fair!” Trials that may make you cry “God, why are you doing this to me?” James assures us that these do not come from God. God is not cruel, sitting in his heavenly throne sending temptations and trials your way. Instead, God is good, and He is unchanging.  

Maybe you find yourself amid a difficult time. Maybe it is external, your friends no longer seem friendly, school is ramping up and you struggle to succeed, you wrestle with being a Christian in a secularized world that has become less welcoming to the Christian. Or maybe you struggle internally, maybe it’s a sin, you can’t help but gossip about others, or maybe you can’t help but look at that website, or maybe it’s that secret that you keep, that no one else knows, yet it eats at you day and night. God’s word for you today is “persevere.” 

Do not blame God for these trials, but instead look to Him in a world that is ever changing, in a life that ebbs and flows as waves in the sea. Take refuge in Christ’s Church and persevere. Persevere by continuing to cling to the Word, which endures forever while the earth passes away. Persevere by daily rising and dying in your Baptism. Persevere by partaking in the body and blood of Christ which sustains you during the trials and temptations of this life. Persevere by knowing that no matter the trial or temptation God’s will for you does not change, God’s love for you does not change, and God’s forgiveness does not change. Trust this Word, it is for you. All good things come from God, so trust in Him, and in so doing, persevere.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Why should cross and trial grieve me?  Christ is near  With His cheer;  Never will He leave me.

Who can rob me of the heaven  That God’s Son  For me won  When His life was given? (LSB 756:1)

– Pastor Caleb Weight is associate pastor of Peace In Christ Lutheran Church in Hermantown, MN.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

The Lutheran Reader’s Bible helps you develop a habit of devotion and Bible reading so you can slowly but intentionally understand and grow in God’s Word. Through introductions to the sixty-six books of the Bible, guided reading plans, and more, this Bible builds your confidence to study Scripture on your own.