Luther, on Romans 15:4 —
That by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures. What a beautiful combination, that hope is possible through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures! To be sure, this hope is not a material thing. “For who hopes for what he sees?” (Rom. 8:24). Hope therefore removes all material things. Hence we need patience. And in place of material things he gives us the Word of comfort by which we are sustained so that we do not lack in patience. Thus to give up a tangible thing for words and the Scripture is truly a big order. And people do not do this unless they have died to all material things, at least in their feelings, even though in practice they still use them out of necessity rather than willingly. These are the Christians who have heard the statement of their Teacher: “Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).