THE WORD IS
God often grants us times of visitation during our lifetime. At such times He especially draws us to Himself. We have a troubled conscience. We know that things are not right between God and us. Fortunate is he who gets proper help during such a time of visitation.
When sin becomes a reality to our conscience, we cannot find peace by artificial means. At such a time trying to convince ourselves that our guilt is not all that great does not help. We feel wretched. We do not want to be comforted by explanations. Fortunate is he who finds comfort in Christ.
A person convinced that he is guilty in God's sight finds it difficult to believe. To him it seems absolutely impossible that God could be merciful to him. He is ready to believe that Jesus' blood covers the sins of all other people. But to believe that his own sins are covered, this is just impossible! But believe, even then! Christ has done everything in your behalf. Your sins were laid on Him. "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world", said John the Baptist pointing to Jesus. You too turn to God's Word and behold the suffering Christ, behold how He has risen from the dead and attained the victory! Do not doubt. Atonement has been made for your sins.
Our sins are indeed great, but do not think that they are greater than Christ. "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom. 5:20).
Matters pertaining to faith will become clear to a person troubled by his sins, if he can speak to an understanding pastor and in addition to receiving counsel, can also hear the comforting words of absolution.
We do not have to depend - nor should we - solely on our own private study of the Bible, but we can make use of the help which the congregation of believers can give us. Jesus has not bound us to unfaithful shepherds, but has warned us concerning them. We can with a good conscience join a congregation where God's Word is proclaimed in its purity. Such proclamation will help us to believe, and the pastor of such a congregation will gladly help troubled souls to know Christ.