Tuesday, June 4, 2013
"The True Issue of Our Hearts"
Sometimes we want something to happen, and it doesn't. We feel the normal human disappointment that results when our desires go unfulfilled. Moreover, we may also be tempted to sadness, bitterness, and even despair. The Psalmist's cry echoes within the chambers of our own hearts - "My heart is smitten, and withered like grass!" (Psalm 102:4).
The Psalmist, however, did not conclude his outcry with the confession of a smitten, withered heart. He rather proceeded to remember and affirm another faithful Heart:
"But Thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and Thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion... Of old hast Thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end" (Psalm 102:12-13; 25-27).
So long as God's heart remains stable, steady, and enduring, we remain secure and fulfilled in Him. Our experience of such assurance, however, requires remembrance and affirmation of our Lord's faithfulness, and of a particularly challenging truth for even the most godly among us to believe. Namely, the basis of our peace and joy rests not upon our own emotional sensibilities, but upon those of God. The ship of our lives can indeed be tossed in the most violent of storms. If, however, the Lord Jesus Christ abides in such peace that we see Him "asleep on a pillow," as it were, we can be assured that we will make it safely to our destination (Mark 4:35-41). Yes, the Lord Jesus is the true issue of our hearts. So long as His brow remains unfurrowed, so long as His heart does not beat fast with trepidation, and so long as He remains certain of His ability to secure and fulfill us, our own hearts can abide in assurance.
Again, this is among the most challenging of all truths to believe. Our native bent toward self-centeredness ensures the challenge. But believe it we must, first, because it is true, and then, because our apprehension and experience of God's truth requires that we make the choice to believe Him regardless of our natural inclinations. "We which have believed do enter into rest" (Hebrews 4:3). The peace of our hearts rests not upon our own will being accomplished, but rather upon the will of God. Difficult truth? No doubt. But blessed, heart-securing and fulfilling truth for those who will join the Psalmist in honest confession of sorrow, but even more, of faithful affirmation of a faithful Lord.
"Consider Him, that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."