A Jagged Contention: The Comfort of God’s Election

Accordingly, whoever conveys this teaching concerning the gracious election of God in such a way that troubled Christians gain no comfort from it but are thrown into despair by it, or in such a way that the impenitent are strengthened in their impudence, then it is undoubtedly certain and true that this teaching is not being presented according to God’s Word and will but rather according to reason and at the instigation of the wicked devil

For, as the apostle testifies, “Whatever is written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” [Rom. 15:4]. However, any interpretation of Scripture that weakens or removes hope and encouragement is certainly contrary to the will and intent of the Holy Spirit.

– The Formula of Concord, The Solid Declaration, Article XI: Election, paragraphs 91-92


When you hear about God’s election or predestination, does it usually offer you comfort or does it cause you to fear? What are some ways you have heard this doctrine taught in such a way that it “removes hope and encouragement?” What is the best way to talk about God’s election?