“How’s Your Mood?”
Dear Members and Friends of our ELS:
How is your mood? Since you are reading this, you probably are relaxed, at least for the moment. Things change quickly. In a twenty-four-hour cycle, our internal atmosphere may go from a warm feeling of joy to an icy feeling of isolation and gloom where no strong coffee or sugar ﬁx will do. A deeper cure must be found.
As Christians, our sinful natures and the surroundings of our corrupted world easily rob us from enjoying fully the eternal treasure we possess by the God-worked faith in our hearts. That treasure, of course, is Christ. It is found in Word and sacrament. Here we have offered to us daily the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation on account of the expiating work of Jesus our Savior.
Words from Psalm 46 come to mind. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the most high dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (vv. 4-7).
By faith in Jesus, we now are in the church, the city of God. This city is well-supplied with water, the chief requisite for life. In fact, God himself is the river, the source of all blessings for his Church. He is found right in the midst of the city. As long as he is there with his Church – which always is the case, for he cannot deny his Word – she will not fall, although nations rise against her. God has promised: For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20). God’s way of dwelling with his church is through his Word: For everything that was written in the past was written for our learning, so that through endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4).
Need more than a morning pick-me-up? The psalmist tells us that, for those who trust in the Lord, God’s help comes at the break of day. We are slow to meet him, yet he is never late in helping us. The Lord is up ahead of time. He has all things under his control for our good. He is the one who came into our world not just for the masses, but for you and me personally. He gave his all at Calvary that we, through faith produced by water and the Word, are made citizens in God’s city, a token of the Jerusalem above!
If God has secured our greatest need, if he has come to us in our darkest hour, if he now dwells within our city, and if he has a voice that is all-powerful for sustaining this city, then surely he will “make glad” his people in times of suffering anxiety. So may the little square boxes on our calendars, or the digital day display on our iPhones, remind us how God is always there at the break of every day with his mighty help!
By grace! Sin, death and Satan hearken!
I bear my flag of faith in hand
And pass – for doubts my joy can’t darken –
The Red Sea to the Promised Land.
I cling to what my Savior taught
And trust it whether felt or not.
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President