Peace for the Troubled Heart

I have been reading through Peace for the Troubled Heart by Rev. Herman Hoeksema in the RFPA’sjh Reformed Spirituality Series. Don’t let the name deceive you. You may or may not think that your heart is troubled. You may not be in a state of depression or feel the weight of heavy affliction such as the loss of a loved one or an illness, but as children of God, believers in Christ, our hearts are troubled for we are not home but sojourners. Constantly we are beset by temptations. The devil and the world and even our own selves according to our old nature would rather see us destroyed in hell than saved in Christ. Furthermore, we are weak. We are subject to death, and we will die, unless we are still alive when Christ returns (and if that is the case rest assured we will suffer greatly for his name’s sake). Yes, our hearts have good reason to be troubled. But we have a heavenly Father who knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows all of our afflictions and trials. In the following passage Rev. Hoeksema reflects on Psalm 103:13,14:

What fervent love and tender compassion glows in this poetic expression of Father’s attitude toward his children in the world!

‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.’

The Lord never forgets the weakness and frailty of our frame. And mindful of our frailty he is always compassionate and deals with us in delicate tenderness, always careful never to overburden, always filled with tender mercy and sympathizing with us as we bear our burdens…

He is not hard and cruel, but tenderhearted and merciful to them. Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him, for he is their Father and they are his children. With a love, deep and constant and eternal as his own heart, he loved them, adopted them, redeemed them, and transformed them. And with a compassion as profound, fervent, and constant as his love, he remembers their infirmities, is mindful of their weaknesses, acquaints himself with their griefs and sorrows, tenderly considers their sufferings and afflictions, longs for their final deliverance, and hastens to their redemption. Nor is he forgetful of the frailty of their frame. He remembers that they are dust, for he made them. Out of the dust he formed them, and dust they are, he knows. And in all his dealings with them and in every way he leads them, with a view to all the tasks he requires of them and regarding all the burdens he makes them to bear, he constantly remembers that they are dust-children – tender and delicate, limited in strength, easily overburdened, needy and weak, and soon overcome, as the tender grass and the flower of the field. (pg. 32,33)

You can find the book for purchase at this link:

http://rfpa.org/collections/books-by-herman-hoeksema/products/peace-for-the-troubled-heart

JH

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