Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 16, 2017
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Like many people when they first come to Christ, I was on fire for God in my early Christian walk. But then something happened that broke my heart. Consequently, the tenderness I had known between me and my Lord waned. Even though I was unable to verbalize it, in my heart of hearts, I felt God had let me down. One day I called a friend and said, “My relationship with Christ isn’t what it was. I can actually feel that something has changed inside me and I don’t know what’s wrong.”
During this time, I kept attending church. And, if anyone would have asked me, I would have said that I loved Jesus—and I did. But my gentle affection for Him was replaced by something I couldn’t define. Now I know that my heart was hardened because of what I went through. I later learned that God’s people experienced something similar. In Scripture, God warned the Israelites not to harden their hearts toward Him as they had done during a time of testing.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:13).
Just like God’s people, many of us can struggle with hardening our hearts when we go through something difficult.
In Mark 8:17-18 Jesus said to His disciples, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?”
In these verses, Jesus sets out for us the symptoms of a hardened heart: the inability to see, the inability to understand, the inability to hear, and the inability to remember. Tragically a hardened heart makes us deaf, blind, and unperceiving to the things God wants us to know and understand. It robs us of the abundant life He intends for us.
The heart is a commander, and the senses follow the heart’s lead. Once the heart is hardened, the senses follow suit. If the heart is soft, the senses will be open, pliable, and receptive. If the heart is hard, the senses will be hard also, making it difficult—if not impossible—to see and hear God. Hardness of heart causes us to block out God stuff that we should be taking in—like truth, direction from the Holy Spirit, and love.
The great news is that God never leaves us, even when our love for Him wanes. And, He has promised to bind up your broken heart. Talk with Him about what you are going through today.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
PrayerLord, even though it’s difficult for me, I trust you with what has happened in my life. Help me to stay close to you and not allow the devil to take advantage of my pain by causing me to harden my heart. Amen.
ApplicationIf you feel that your relationship with God is suffering because of some loss that has happened in your life, talk with Him about your pain. Ask for His comfort and confess your unbelief.
Related ReadingPsalm 147:3; Isaiah 61:1; Mark 8:18
Post/Tweet todayThe Holy Spirit longs to soften and heal our heart when our heart is broken. #WisdomHunters #ATenderHeart
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