Praise the Lord for summer in September! It is time now to put away the flip-flops and sandals and summer shoes. With all the walking and working in the summer you can find yourself with sand or pebbles in your summer foot wear. How many of you when you feel something in your shoe or sandal poking your toes or feet immediately stop, take it out and then venture on? How many of you try to walk it out, or let it shift inside, or just take the pain? Why? Why live with the pain or irritation if you don’t have to? Sometimes you can get used to it but then later, when you slip off your shoe, you realize a blister has started. There is more pain or irritation to come because you didn’t take care of it when it started hurting.

Why do we live with our pains in life, be it physical or emotional, when we have relief from the suffering? Why do we live with the pain and suffering of sin when we have relief from the suffering? Why allow the guilt of our sins to keep irritating and causing more suffering when we have relief from our suffering. The answer is our sinful nature that makes us believe that we cannot be forgiven or makes us believe we have to suffer for what we have done or we can handle it on our own.

There is relief from our suffering.

 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,

slow to anger, abounding in love.

 He will not always accuse,

nor will he harbor his anger forever;

 he does not treat us as our sins deserve

or repay us according to our iniquities.

 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his love for those who fear him;

 as far as the east is from the west,

       so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

      Psalm 103:8-12

We have relief from our suffering. Our sins no longer have to be a burden. That burden has been lifted and placed on Jesus. We have been forgiven by our God. In fact, our sins forgiven by Jesus will not be a burden. Just as east and west are perpetually separated, just as the stars are thousands of miles from the earth so our sins will not be held against us. Why suffer with the guilt of sin? Turn to the Lord in prayer. Has he not promised always to hear and answer our prayers? There is relief from suffering. Turn to the Lord and search out his answers in the Word of God. There is relief from suffering. Turn to the Lord in repentance. Turn to the cross of our Lord and in faith, trust that there is forgiveness, yes, even for your sins. There we find the source of relief from all of life’s burdens and suffering.

And with the suffering of sin and death gone, guaranteed to us in Christ, walk the way of faith, letting the guilt of sin no longer be a burden.

Keep Christ First!

Pastor Chris Christenson