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The Anxious Heart

September 27, 2020
By Martin Luther

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled.

PSALM 6:2-3

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The Anxious Heart

We also see many godly hearts that are always sad and dejected, being anxious and troubled at their own thoughts, despairing in their temptations from the devil. "Where," say the world and our own flesh, "is the Holy Spirit about whom you Christians boast?" Therefore, a Christian should be wise here so that he does not pass sentence and judge according to his own thoughts and feelings, but know that against just this temptation and weakness he must cling to the Word and the comforting sermon which the Holy Spirit preaches to all poor, distressed hearts and consciences. Christ says about the office which He is to carry out through the Holy Spirit: "The Spirit of the Lord is with Me. Because the Lord has anointed Me, He has sent Me to preach to the wretched, to bind up the broken hearts, likewise to comfort all the sorrowful" (Isaiah 61:1-2). From this you should learn (as you hear at this place and everywhere in the Gospel) that God does not want to have you sad and frightened, but cheerful and confident of the sure, truthful promise of His grace, which the Holy Spirit Himself preaches to you.

From the Church Postil, sermon for Pentecost on John 14:23-31 (Luther's Works 77:334-35)