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Luther wrote about Anfechtungen (Latin: temptatio / tentatio). It can be defined as agonizing internal struggles, as temptation, as trial, as affliction.

Anfechtungen come to the Christian from the world, the devil and the own flesh, but sometimes God gives Anfechtungen by keeping Himself hidden. They belong to the reality of the Christian life: so much so that the seeming absence of Anfechtungen is the most serious Anfechtung (nulla tentatio omnis tentatio).

Prayer (oratio) and meditation (meditatio) together with Anfechtungen make a real theologian. It is the way by which the truth of the Gospel is written in the heart. The Anfechtung lehrt aufs Wort merken, as Luther translated Isaiah 28:19.

Luther himself suffered many Anfechtungen; not only when he asked himself if he finally was not wrong, facing the centuries-old tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, but also when he felt God’s wrath.