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Battle against the Feelings

May 09, 2019
By Martin Luther

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

PSALM 34:18

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Battle against the Feelings

The comfort is this, that in your deep anxieties—in which your consciousness of sin, sadness, and despair is so great and strong that it penetrates and occupies all the corners of your heart—you do not follow your consciousness. For if you did, you would say: "I feel the violent terrors of the Law and the tyranny of sin, not only waging war against me again but completely conquering me. I do not feel any comfort or righteousness. Therefore I am not righteous but a sinner. And if I am a sinner, then I am sentenced to eternal death." But battle against this feeling, and say: "Even though I feel myself completely crushed and swallowed by sin and see God as a hostile and wrathful judge, yet in fact this is not true; it is only my feeling that thinks so. The Word of God, which I ought to follow in these anxieties rather than my own consciousness, teaches much differently, namely, that ‘God is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit’ (Psalm 34:18), and that ‘He does not despise a broken and contrite heart’ (Psalm 51:17)."

From Lectures on Galatians (Luther's Works 27:25-26)

May 9

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