November 6, 2023

An Overwhelmed Heart

Written by Boyd Bailey

Lies only prolong bondage, while truth releases you to peace and joy.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 6, 2023

When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Life tends to overwhelm us from time to time. Work deadlines. Extra busy calendars. Health challenges. Accidents. World events. Disappointments. Moral failures. Prodigal children. Death. 

One or all of these experiences bundled together can feel overwhelming in the moment. A heart of faith is resilient, yet outside pressure can still feel uncomfortable and hard to bear, even impossible by ourselves. When feelings of being overwhelmed threaten a peaceful heart, praise to God is a heavenly release valve. Like a pressure cooker’s heat and steam used to tenderize the food, the heat of hard times and the steam of sin can be an instrument of the Lord to tender our hearts rather than harden them. So, we praise Him for His love and care, not afraid to confide in Christ and others. We worship our great God, especially in the hours and days we are most sad.

“You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies!” ( Psalm 8:2, TLB).

This morning, I’m texting back and forth with my wife Rita, who, for ten days, is serving orphans in Cambodia. Eleven hours ahead of our Eastern time zone, this small country is located between India and China. In preparation for her great adventure, we watched films about the horrific killings by rural communist guerrillas between 1975 and 1979, when at least 1.5M Cambodians were killed or died. Saving Susan ministry serves the orphans in this country that still suffer from its devastating past. Though understandably, a heart would feel overwhelmed in this environment, many of the tender young hearts are turning to God. Love is irresistible, especially to those who are open to being loved. Pain can make a heart feel it is being punished and undeserving of love, yet God’s love heals hurting hearts. Jesus already took sin’s punishment on the cross, so now His love forgives and heals. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24, ESV).

Henri Nouwen reminds us to receive God’s love even when feeling unworthy:

Jesus wants us to receive the love he offers. He wants nothing more than for us to allow him to love us and enjoy that love. This is so hard since we always feel that we have to deserve the love offered to us. But Jesus wants to offer that love to us not because we have earned it but because he has decided to love us independently of any effort on our side. Our own love for each other should flow from that “first love” that is given to us undeserved.”

Do you struggle with feeling that you do not deserve love without first earning love? If so, you are not alone, as many of us can drift into our culture’s requirements of only getting what we deserve. Yet, God’s way of relating to you is through grace and love. What a solace for an overwhelmed heart. With a heavy heart, you follow the comfort of the Spirit to your Rock of refuge, Jesus Christ. Ignore the voices that whisper that you must deserve love before you can receive love. Lies only prolong bondage, while truth releases you to peace and joy. Heavenly heart work has the lasting side effects of peace, joy, and gratitude. Rest on the rock of Love.


Heavenly Father, when my heart is overwhelmed without, I turn within to your love and comfort through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name. Amen.


What burden are you bearing that you could ask another to pray for with you?

Related Reading

Psalm 18:2; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Worship Resource

Bri Babineaux: He’s My Rock


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