From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Job was not afflicted because of past evil deeds, therefore afflictions are not always punishments or signs of wrath. When consciences are terrified because they see nothing but God's punishment and anger in their afflictions, they should not think that God has rejected them. They should be taught that the other end of afflictions is more important. The other more important end to be considered is that God is doing his strange work so that he may be able to do his own proper work, as Isaiah teaches in a long sermon (Isa 28:1ff).
Pulling It Together
We should learn to regard our troubles as signs of impending grace. God is at work in these afflictions. When we have gotten to the other side, we can see that suffering drew us back to God, and caused us to rely upon him, and persevere. It produced character in us and strengthened our hope in God. In short, suffering is not always punishment, and though we surely do not like it, our troubles are good for us. Even the more tragic trials bring about the blessing of drawing us closer to God, and knowing his presence and peace in deeper ways than we knew previously. This is the proper work of God: to terrify and console, to trip and turn, to kill and make alive. We do not like it much but through it all, God is awakening us more and more to real life.
Prayer: Thy will be done, Father. Amen.
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The Lord's Prayer is a seven lesson curriculum based around Luther's Small Catechism. Each lesson has a Bible study connected to the article of the Lord's Prayer covered. A section entitled "About Prayer" teaches students helpful items about a solid prayer life and a prayer assignment for the coming week. A major goal of this material is to help kids experience prayer and practice it in a variety of ways. This book could be used as part of a larger Confirmation series, or as a "pre-confirmation" Sunday School series for Jr. High and Middle School youth.