May 16, 2017

A Broken Heart Softens or Hardens

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 16, 2017

By Shana Schutte

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).

 

Prayer

Lord, 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.

Application

If 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 Reading

Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 61:1; Mark 8:18

Post/Tweet today

The Holy Spirit longs to soften and heal our heart when our heart is broken. #WisdomHunters #ATenderHeart

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Comments

  1. Susan says:

    WOW did this ever hit close to home. The verse in Proverbs,” Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Is also another issue I’ve been dealing with. I do believe I need a heart transplant. I know I cannot survive without the Lord. I cannot accomplish anything of eternal value without Him. Yet my heart is broken.

  2. Timothy says:

    The heart of man is the heart of the matter, that is why we were admonished in Proverbs to ‘ Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life’, don’t make it easy for the devil to traffic in your heart, the Holy Spirit is there to help us out any time and in any situation, we’re most blessed.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Timothy,
      Thank you for your comments about the importance of guarding our hearts. You are so right when you say, “The heart of the man is the heart of the matter”.
      Shana’s devotional reminds us of how crucial it is to recognize a hardened heart and the tragic symptoms of that hard heart. In contrast, a heart that is soft is open to hearing God and receiving the Holy Spirit.
      We are thankful for you, Timothy, and appreciate your words of wisdom. We look forward to hearing from you again.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” Psalm 73:23-24


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