hopeLuther underlines the significance of faith in situations of suffering. Genuine faith, in the midst of the terrible situation, is able to discern reality from non-reality; the spiritual from the merely physical; the eternal from the temporal. It does not deny the situation; but it sees it through a different lens. Faith focuses on God and takes hold of Christ. Luther encourages sufferers to realize Christ’s identification with them. He looks to the resurrection, at which time those who have been taken will be recovered because Jesus Christ has overcome death once and for all. In the meantime, faith trusts God the Father and is encouraged to look at what has been retained, not so much on what (or who) has been lost. Faith enables the struggling Christian to be further transformed into the image of Christ.

Luther’s Insights into Grief: His Pastoral Letters
Michael Parsons