Word of the Month

Comforted and Fortified

April 1998

Who is there amongst us that has never been weary and depressed from bearing a cross and sorrows? And how comforting is the promise of the Lord: "For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul" (Jeremiah 31:25).

What makes us weary? The burden becomes heavier as time goes on. Constantly fighting the good fight of faith, which all of us have to face who take the work on their souls seriously, wears one out. And there are also the many and various burdens that each one of us has to carry in his own particular way. Most of all, however, sin makes us weak and weary. Therefore the letter to the Hebrews admonishes us: "...let us lay aside...the sin which doth so easily beset us..." (from Hebrews 12:1). How wonderful that again and again we may come to the Lord, who forgives sinners and fortifies weary souls!

Where do we find this strength? In the house of God, at the altar of the Highest, where we receive rest and peace. He who provides his soul with the creative, active Word of God will receive power which expels all weariness. It must leave us when we receive grace in the Divine Service, and our sins are forgiven. Love and Joy are other effective means against weariness.

"I have satiated the weary soul" - the Word and Grace of God, Holy Communion, Love and Joy, Rest and Peace give us genuine comfort and strength!

The Lord furthermore promises to replenish the sorrowful souls. How often we are depressed by sorrows, disease, pain, suffering or loss. In such circumstances it is very important to talk to someone about the things that worry us. In prayer we may place all our cares into the hands of our Heavenly Father; He does not forsake us. Even when He does not relieve or take away all burdens, He nevertheless gives us the strength to carry what has been laid upon us. He offers us the chalice of comfort in His Word, that lifts us up and strengthens us.

The assurance: "despite everything we have to go through, we are in God's hand" the sorrowful souls are replenished. And the promise: "The Lord comes for sure" keeps us awake and is a source of power, comfort and joy to us!

Most sincerely,<br/>

Richard Fehr