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THE WEEKLY WORD: Change discouragement to calm assurance in God

By the Rev. Daniel Larson, Pastor, Cross Lutheran Church, Charles City

Are you discouraged?

Do you ever feel as though you really don’t make a difference? Is it hard to see any progress or the results of your hard work?

Many times, we may ask, “What’s the point? Why do I keep trying?”

You may be someone who can’t seem to hold a job for more than a few months or a year. You may expect to be the first to be laid off when the cut-backs occur.

These things that happen in our life can be very discouraging. Sometimes, when events like these get us discouraged and depressed, we can have two types of reactions. The first is to blame God for all our problems. The second is thinking that somehow God must be punishing us for something we have done.

However, neither of these things is correct. This is because our problems don’t lie with God. Our problems come upon us because of our own sin.

All of life’s problems come to us as a result of living in a world of sin – sin within us and around us. These problems include layoffs at work, health problems, family issues, turmoil, crime, violence and wars.

We’d have to get rid of sin to remove all our troubles and problems that plague and discourage us. We could spend the rest of our lives trying to do that and never accomplish it or complete it. Thanks to God, though, He accomplished what we were unable to do!

We deserve to be sentenced under the judgment of God for everything we say, think, or do that violates God’s Commandments and His will for us to live perfect lives.

But God brought us the good news of the Gospel that says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

In His gracious love for us, God took away all our sins and laid them on His Son, Jesus. He charged Him with our guilt and punished Him in our place. Indeed, Jesus suffered everything that we deserved. He died to free us from eternal death, and rose to life in order that we too may have a new life after we die.

Even though we will still experience much discouragement and depression in our life, nothing can take away the real peace of heart and soul that Jesus brings us. He took away our sins. By faith in Him we have become children of God and heirs of His heavenly kingdom.

Remember, everyday God is at our side helping us through our difficult times. Only let us come to Him in prayer and ask Him to strengthen our flagging spirits. Then, confidently trusting in Him, our discouragement and depression can be changed into calm assurance knowing that our loving and gracious God is always guiding us.

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Cross Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a confessional Lutheran body, with headquarters in Mankato, Minnesota. We are in fellowship with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. We preach the crucified and risen Christ, and teach that we are saved by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith.

You are invited to worship with us each Sunday at our 9:30 a.m. service. Holy Communion is celebrated on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

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