The Progress of the Pilgrim: What Shall I Do?   

“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den; and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry; saying, ‘What shall I do?’” – John Bunyan

The cry of the sinner who God makes aware of their burden of sin is “What shall I do? What can I do? What am I able to do? Is there any hope for me?

A burden is a weight. It is a heavy load. A burden may be the source of great worry or stress. In the life of the Pilgrim, the traveler in this life, it is the great weight or burden because of one’s sin. It is the knowledge of one’s sin, and the guilt experienced because of sin.

King David, much like you and me and the Pilgrim, knew the reality of the burden of sin. David, in Psalm 38, expressed deep sorrow, grief and pain due to his own sin.  While this lament psalm is a song by a believer needing God’s forgiveness from the power of sin, it can also apply to the unbeliever needing God’s forgiveness from the penalty of sin. The outline of Psalm 38 is a follows.

I. The Personal Burden of Sin (38:1).

II. The Sickening Burden of Sin (38:2-3).

III. The Overwhelming Burden of Sin (38:4-16).

IV. The Removable Burden of Sin (38:17–22).

Why would God even consider forgiving us of our sin and relieving us of the weight we bear because of our sin? It is because He is gracious and merciful (Eph. 2:1-5; 8-9).Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone is the pilgrim’s only hope from the burden of sin’s penalty, power and God’s eternal judgment.  

What is the burden of sin and guilt that you carry? Is it the burden of not knowing your sins are forgiven in Jesus Christ? Is it the burden and guilt of sin you have committed as a follower of Jesus? Is it a burden you give to the Lord, only to immediately, or eventually, take back?

Receive the forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ. Confess and repent of your sin. God promised to forgive (Luke 18:9-14; Acts 16:25-34; I John 1:8-10). Have a blessed day.

Soli deo Gloria!

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