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Heaven's Help for Troubled Souls

"Let not your heart be troubled!" Jesus says, for He recognizes the severe trials which burden our souls. Those who give counsel for the distressed often do not understand the problems they promise to solve; Christ knows our every sorrow. He was born in a stable and understands the needs of the poor and the outcast. To save His life, He had to flee into a foreign country! He can measure the suffering of refugees, religious and political exiles. Jesus spent the greater part of His early existence in lowly work, and realizes what the laboring man requires. He suffered from hunger, thirst, weariness. Has anyone better insight into the deprivation endured by millions of the famished and undernourished? Christ was persecuted by those whom He had helped, and because He felt the pains of spurned devotion, He can sympathize with you who have been deserted by someone whom you loved. He was slandered and defamed, although He was absolutely innocent of wrongdoing. Whenever false accusations blacken your character or baseless rumors disturb your peace, confide in Christ and know that He felt, though in a far deeper degree, the cruelty inflicted on you. He was burdened above all by inner agony in that unfathomable torture of His soul when He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34). If it ever seems that God has left you; if you begin to doubt whether there is any salvation for your soul with its sins; if you are on the verge of despair, then, what an understanding, compassionate Friend Jesus proves Himself to be!

Much more than sympathy, however, is found in Christ. He can say, "Let not your heart be troubled," because He forever broke the power of sin and completely removed its curse! You and I were under its rule, and without Christ we die in its slavery. How did Jesus remove the believer's sins? Not by overlooking, forgetting, or simply canceling them, but by suffering for them, paying the price of every transgression, satisfying the demands of a just and holy God, giving Himself as the redemption for all iniquity; by shedding His holy blood; by laying down His life as the ransom price demanded for the sinner's liberation!

Believe God and this promise of His Word: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)! When you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, your sins are removed "as far as the East is from the West" (Psalm 103:12). You are restored to grace, reconciled with God, and reborn into a new, blessed existence. "Let not your heart be troubled!", Jesus assures you, because the same love that removes your sins can make the hardest blow the tenderest caresses, and use the galling bitterness of affliction for purposes of sweet, bounteous mercy. By the same love for your soul Jesus promises, not that you will escape trouble and that life will be a round of unbroken pleasure, but that through faith, "sorrow is turned into joy" as "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Job 41:22; Romans 8:28).

—Walter A. Maier, condensed