All of us at one time or another will experience the pain of a broken heart. For some it will come when a relationship is dissolved. For others it will be in a relationship when someone has violated a trust. Still in other cases a heart will be broken when someone has died. The question is not will my heart ever be broken, but how will I respond when it is?
Some people will retreat. They will separate themselves for others in an attempt to insulate themselves from getting hurt again. Others will lash out in anger and bitterness. They will hurt as they have been hurt. Some people will deny the hurt only to find themselves in depression and loneliness. Acting as those they are okay they hide their feelings and hold back and pretend everything is alright.
How are we supposed to act when our heart has been broken? Is there a way to find healing and health and hope when it seems our world has been torn apart and our emotions are unable to cope with the pain and anger that we feel? Is there a prescription, an action, an attitude that we can ascribe to that will help us in our dark days?
Remember that God is aware of your situation and He cares. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalms 34:18 NKJV) God specializes in helping those whose hearts are broken. Psalm 62:8 tell us to “pour out” our heart to God. God is a good listener! He will hear the cry of those whose hearts are broken and need to be mended. Then wait. Listen to this, My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. (Psalms 62:5 NKJV) After we have cried out to God, then we are to wait expectantly upon Him for our consolation and comfort. Psalm 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense, I shall not be moved.
We will not find help in another. And we shall always find help in God. Is your heart broken? Do you feel there is no hope? Are you needing consolation? Then go to God. Call upon His name and then wait patiently for the Lord. The David said, I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. (Psalms 40:1 NKJV) Cast your care upon the Lord, for He cares for you. I(I Peter 5:17)
When Abraham started out on the journey that would eventually lead him to the land of Promise he didn’t know where he was going, didn’t know when he would arrive and didn’t know what he would encounter along the way. He only had God’s promise that He would let him know when he came upon his destination. As you read Abraham’s story you realize that he face many things that were difficult along the way. Marauding bands, kings who would have taken his wife for their own and the separation, capture and eventual return of Lot his nephew.
Like Abraham we are on a journey as well. We encounter many difficulties, trials, opposition, sometimes fear and sometimes uncertainty. As we journey along we may ask the question, “What’s going on? I have trusted Christ as my Savior, I have walked in obedience, I have kept myself from wickedness what are bad things happening to me?”
While I cannot answer all these questions there is one thing I have come to learn. Today is not the journey, it is only part of the journey. It may not be a nice as yesterday and it may be better than tomorrow. All I know is the One who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light has promised not to leave me nor forsake me. I am safe on this journey. I may encounter difficulty, trials, and even opposition, but I will arrive to my destination, because the One who has called me is faithful. He will not allow me to be tempted above that which I am able and with every temptation He will provide a way of escape. He has promised to meet all my needs according to His riches in glory and He has said He will never leave me nor forsake me. Who is this? This is the King of Glory, God Almighty who has sent His Son Jesus to die for us and sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us. He will bring me home.
Recently I posted a couple of things on Facebook. I was having fun as I listed some philosophies espoused by well-known folk heroes or entertainment personalities. One I listed was the “Long Ranger Philosophy”. It states, “Stand for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.” Doing what is right is becoming more lonely as times goes on. In American society people are more interested in doing what they want rather than what is right. Everyone knows the phrase, “It’s my right . . .” And when people be they entertainers, sports personalities, public officials or politician, stand up for what is right they are usually bullied into silence or branded as intolerant and narrow-minded. When did upholding what is right become narrow-minded? When did speaking the truth become intolerant? When did speaking your mind become intolerant or bigoted? It started when people chose to be their own master rather than humble themselves before the Master.
That’s right I am a believer. I make no apologies for believing in God who is both Creator and Lord. I believe I am made in His image to glorify Him by obedience and allowing Him to conform me into the image of His Son. Part of that includes accepting what He has said is right and wrong. And if I must stand alone to do it. I will. I know it is not popular. It is not what would get me elected into office or keep me there. But it is what will keep me in good standing with the One to whom I will give an account.
What is the most powerful thing you can do for others? Someone might say listen and that is a good thing to do. We all could be better listeners. Someone might suggest that we demonstrate respect and respect is something we should show one another. Still, another person might say we should be courteous and courtesy is lacking is our country and needs to be revived. However, I tend to think that one of the most powerful things we can do for other is to pray for them. Because prayer moves the heart of the most powerful being in the universe . . God!
God tells us in His word to pray for one another. Prayer can reach places that are inaccessible physically. Prayer can circumvent the globe in moments. Prayer can reach those behind locked doors and even make a difference in a person’s life many years after the prayer has been made.
Intercessory prayer, that is prayer made on someone else’s behalf, is one of the most unselfish things you can do; because most of the time the one being prayed for never knows who it is that prayed for them. And intercessory prayer is after the Lord’s own heart for He interceded for us before we were born and now sits at the right hand of God interceding for us today.
Intercessory prayer is also a great blessing, especially when you are being led by the Spirit to pray. Not only is there a witness of the Spirit, but you are enjoining the fellowship of God. There is something wonderful about praying in the Spirit. And there is something wonderful about praying for others.
Take some time today to talk to God. Ask Him if there is someone He would like you to pray for. Then be silent before Him and wait for the answer. It will come and you will join God in the ministry to the saints.
At a recent Bible study we were considering the subject of prayer. Our leader directed us to Matt. 6:8-15, commonly referred to as the Lord’s prayer. As we looked again at the old familiar verses I was struck by the opening statement, “Our Father which are in heaven. . .” I have preached on this verse myself and taught on it many times; however, the significance of the words “our Father” hit me like a ton of bricks. I do have a Heavenly Father who loves me, cares for me and watches over me. He hears me when I pray, protects me when I am not aware of the danger and forgives me when I repent.
However, this relationship goes deeper than that. I am from a broken home and grew up in a time when love was withheld if you didn’t perform. Just to know that my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally, changes things. I don’t have to perform to receive from Him. I will never lose His love nor will He ever leave me or forsake me.
There have been times when I served Him out of fear, but now, I want to respond to His love by acts of gratefulness and with a desire to say thanks for the love I have received from Him. Have you learned of this God who loves you so much He gave His own Son for you?
Recently I have been reading a book entitled “Stories of Sifted” by Eric Reiss, Todd Wilson with Jan Greggo. It talks about the seasons of life when God is sifting us in order to produce in us the character of Christ. The writers proclaim that sifting is unavoidable. It is the weapon of choice that God uses to accelerate the spiritual growth of His children. It is not pleasant or neat. It is difficult and messy. It is designed to produce increased surrender to God. Increase surrender pleases God. In the book we learn that troubles and trials are not to be avoided but embraced.
Chapter Three of the book begins with a question: At the end of the coming year when you look back on your accomplishments and what God has done through you, would you prefer to boast of (1) becoming more like Jesus, or (2) doing more for Jesus?
Does Jesus care more about you becoming more like Him or doing more for Him? Consider the books, blogs and articles you’ve read, the conferences you’ve attended and the prayers you’ve prayed in the past year. Do you tend to focus on resources that help you “become more like” or resources that help you “do more for”?
The authors of this thought provoking book teach us that season of sifting have inherent power to shift our natural bias from “doing” to “being” I recommend this book highly. Especially in light of the fact that our culture pushes us to be super-stars who are super-accomplished, instead of being disciples who are learning to be more like our Master.
Here are three simple ways you can be a Great Commission disciple.
1. You can go. Jesus commands us to go. You can go across the street and build a relationship with a neighbor, sharing the love of Christ.
2. You can give. Not all of us can go into all the world, but we can support those who do.
3. You can guide. Every believer should be pouring their life into another believer, helping them become a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
4.You can go with God. You are not alone on this journey. God is with you. Trust Him. He will not fail you.
Balance. We all need it in so many ways. It is easy to let life overwhelm us with all the tasks and to do list we have and we find ourselves out of balance. So how do we find balance? I believe the secret to that is observing the life of Jesus. He was the most well-balanced person who ever lived. He lived a very busy life with many responsibilities. He was inundated with requests for food, healing and teaching. He was given the task of being the sacrifice for our sins and for choosing and training those who would carry on after He was gone. In addition, He was challenged on every hand by those who did not believe He was the Son of God. So how did Jesus stay balanced?
1. He knew who He was and why He came. He had a mission, He knew it and He stuck with it. He did not allow anything to keep Him from His mission.
2. He trusted in God. He committed Himself to God in the good times and the bad. When the crowd was for Him He trusted in God. When the mob was against Him He trusted God. He did not allow His life situation to rob Him of His equilibrium.
3. He did not allow interruptions to rob Him of His peace. When He was traveling and people stopped Him, He always took time out knowing that such interruptions were God-ordained.
Don’t forget who you are in Christ. Don’t allow the world, your life circumstances to rob you of your peace in Christ or detract you from your mission in life. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your eyes on the prize.
What encourages you? A thoughtful word by someone? An encouraging note or card? A positive phone call or text? All of these are sources of encouragement and we all appreciate them when we receive them. We smile, shake our head and say “Great!” But how often do we encourage someone else?
There are many in your circle of friends that need an encouraging word. Think for a moment. Who could you encourage today? Maybe you know a single mother who is working hard to make ends meet and be the mom she needs to be. Maybe you know someone who has lost a spouse and needs an encouraging word. Perhaps there is a co-worker who is facing a particular hard life challenge and would benefit from a positive word from you.
You don’t have to be a counselor, psychiatrist, or professional to be an encourager. All you need to be is genuine and speak with love and compassion. And if you aren’t good with words or are afraid you be too embarrassed, find a card that expresses your sentiments and give it to them. The Bible teaches, “give and it shall be given to you.” Try it, you’ll be glad you did.
Before Jesus left to return to the Father He gave the disciples a mandate. It was to go and “make disciples”. Does the Bible give us any indication of how to do that and is there an example is the New Testament. Paul told Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2 NKJV)
From this verse we see several things that give us an insight into making disciples>
1. Be a disciple yourself. Paul was a disciple who discipled Timothy. Timothy would in turn be a disciple maker.
2. Be a learner. Before you expect others to learn, be a student yourself. When you stop learning you stop growing.
3. Be a discerner. Timothy would have to be able to discern who were the “faithful men” he would disciple. Without being selective in who you disciple you will waste a lot of time on those who do not wish to learn.
4. Be a teacher. Jesus was a teacher. Teaching is emulating the Lord.
a. demands discipline
b. demands faithfulness
c. demands accountability. You will be accountable to those you teach. Do they see you practicing what you teach?
The rewards of practicing disciple-making are manifold. One, your ministry will continue long after you are gone. Two, you will fulfill the Great Commission. Three, you will honor the Lord.
Have a great day.