|"He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3 |
(click here to re-pin this on Pinterest)
The matter of the heart – it matters to God. How do we know that? - Because it’s a topic that can be found all throughout the Bible. In just the last three days I’ve spent digging deeper into Psalm 147:3, I counted the word “heart,” and its many variations, used 75 times in God’s Word. That’s a lot and I’m sure there are many more still. This “matter of the heart” has also been an important subject threaded throughout the book “Stressed-Less Living” by Tracie Miles. Like I shared in a previous post of mine, "A Gift From Above," the lesson that has impacted me the most so far through this book is that God cares more about changing our hearts than he does about changing our circumstances. This has been affirmed to me again this week, through Psalm 147:3.
“Hearten” – encourage, energize, enliven, arouse, rally, rouse, stir“Heartfelt” – sincere, genuine, honest, true, unfeigned, deep, profound
“Heartless” – unfeeling
What caught my attention in reading these, and maybe perhaps it drew yours too, is that the descriptions of the first two sounds like they’re describing God himself and what he does. So much so that we could just erase the words “hearten” and “heartfelt” and replace them with “God” in the dictionary. But then there’s the third one. Is it just me, or could “unbeliever” possibly be substituted here for “heartless?” I know that the word “unfeeling” described me before I came to know Christ as my personal savior and it is also how I can start to become again when I wander from him...
This had all got me wondering if the correlations here were just a coincidence, but in further exploration of Psalm 147:3, I’m thinking not.
It has been my experience that if we stay in a state of heartbreak, it can harden our hearts and lead us down the path to becoming heartless. This is not a quality of Christ and not what God wants for us. In God’s Word we learn that it is God’s plan for us as believers to grow in the likeness of Christ. When we turn to God in our brokenness, he is able to begin this transformation in our hearts so that our thoughts and actions start to reflect that of our heartfelt God. This is his plan for us in our heartbreak.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,” ~Romans 8:28-29a
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” ~2 Corinthians 3:18
So if we want to live out God’s purpose for our lives – to be conformed to the likeness of his son – and we need to be healed of our brokenness in order to do this, how do we go about it? How do we become healed by God? Part of this answer I had discovered in God’s Word before – it requires faith.
“Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart daughter,’ he said, “your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” ~Mathew 9:22
“He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.” ~Acts 14:9
Many of us are familiar with these stories in the Bible. We love them because they are such positive reminders of the miracles that God can perform through great faith. However, faith is not the only avenue the Lord uses to heal. There are other scriptures in His Word as well that speak of healing, though I think these tend to come to mind less when we are seeking healing, perhaps because they bring with them a more somber and even painful approach – wounds.
The words used to describe “wounds” in the dictionary are: “Injure, hurt, damage, harm, afflict, torment, torture, batter, cripple, maim, mangle, mutilate, blemish, impair, spoil, tarnish, weaken, contort, deface, deform, disfigure, distort.” It also says: “to deplete the soundness, strength, effectiveness, or perfection of something.” Sorry to spell these all out here like this, but I wanted you to see the full picture that I saw. Doesn’t this all sound an awful lot like Satan? Well, when we look up a definition of a word in the dictionary, it also lists the contrasting words, which can often be helpful in the understanding of the word. In the case of “wounds” they are: “assist, help, better, enhance, improve, benefit, strengthen, aid.” Ahh, there we go. That sounds more like God. You see where the enemy intends to use wounds for harm, just like we learned earlier with “brokenhearted,” God plans for wounds are good. He demonstrated this first through the wounds of Jesus on the cross.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~Isaiah 53:5
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” ~1 Peter 2:24
But God did not stop His healing through wounds there at the cross with Christ. He also demonstrates His plan of using “wounds” for good through our own personal wounds. Where God used Christ’s wounds for our salvation, he uses our wounds for our transformation. It is through our wounds that He draws us to Him and it is through our wounds that He is able to transform our pride and self-reliance into humbleness and dependence on Him. Without these wounds, we would not grow in Christ-likeness. Without these wounds, our lives would not shine for the glory of God. In realizing this, I’m beginning to see my wounds as blessings. Like Tracie says on page 207: “I have come to understand that God cannot use people greatly until he has broken them deeply.” This was certainly true for Christ. That I think is evident to us all, but it is also true of us. Tracie then goes on to say: “And when we embrace our brokenness, we are ready for breakthrough.”
Are you in need of a breakthrough? - Embrace your brokenness! Let it drive you to your knees to God. Allow him to not only bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart, but also to multiply you in your Christ-likeness. This is what God has shown me, through Psalm 147:3, to do with my brokenness. For our wounds truly are a “matter of the heart” that matter to God, and that matters to me.
With His Word He cleanses,
With His touch He mends,
With a whisper He restores,
With a prayer He sends –
All His grace relented,
All His glory unleashed,
By my side the Lord cometh,
Jehovah Rapha heals me.
~Written by Katrina Wylie
“The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.” ~Isaiah 30:26