Sunday, December 30, 2012

Post # 67 – INSIDE OUT

As I read Proverbs 15 during my devotional time yesterday, verses 13 and 15 came alive and popped off the page at me. 

“A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. All the days of the despondent and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].” (amplified bible), or in another version:

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face; but an aching heart breaks the spirit. All the days of the inwardly afflicted person are wretched, but one who has a cheerful heart enjoys a continual feast.” (world english bible)

The Hebrew word translated “heart” in these verses means inner part, soul, heart, mind. It’s the same word used in Isaiah 61:1 that foretold that a facet of Jesus’ mission would to be to set people free from the side effects of growing up in a fallen and dysfunctional world … He sent Me to heal the broken hearted (brokenhearted is 2 words in Hebrew).

Though we as people tend to think of God as being primarily fixated on our performance, the Gospels tell us otherwise. Jesus was and is focused on how we are doing on the inside. In the New Testament, He talked about the heart 743 times. Compare this to other themes Jesus spoke about (forgiveness – 100 times, love – 111 times, the Kingdom – 118 times).  Jesus is passionate about how we are doing down deep in our hearts.

An aching heart breaks the spirit. More often than not an aching heart is the result of being hurt by events that took place earlier in life. Growing up in an angry home, having a passive or absent father, being controlled by a domineering mother, experiencing abuse of some kind, going through a breakup with a loved one … these are influences that break the human heart.


Proverbs 15 tells us that when our heart is glad and cheerful we can live above the adverse circumstances that are a part of living in our broken world. I believe the glad and merry heart is usually the result of experiencing the ministry of the Messiah (the healing of the heart) as described in Isaiah 61. 

Two extremes are presented in Proverbs 15:13 and 15: the glad heart but also a sorrowful or aching heart. There are also many intermediary conditions of how we are doing on the inside. Jeremiah 17:9-10 in the Message says:

“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”

Rather than analyzing yourself to discern how your heart is, why not ask God instead? He knows your heart better than you do and has the power to heal it.

A suggested exercise: Set aside 10 to 20 minutes in a quiet place to listen to God. Turn off your cell phone. Prepare for a time of listening by praying through the Listening to God Guidelines. Then express yourself to Him with the prayer that follows. Write down the impressions He brings your way.

Jesus, thank You that You know my heart and came to heal it.  What would you like to reveal to me about the content of my heart?

Then ask Him a follow up question similar to this: Jesus, what truth would you like to communicate with me to bring healing to my heart?

I’ve been told by a number of people that it’s difficult to leave a comment or response on this blog. To resolve this problem I created a special email for you to use:


  1. My husband and I gave a week at the Gulf to ourselves and our children this past week. The children and grandchildren assembled with us over the weekend. Our wonderful Daughter of Promise, who is now a physician has become such an angry control freak. Our younger daughter came bursting into the beach house where we were staying with her usual excitement and hyperactivity, but the older one got so angry at her younger sister. Why? Because the younger one wanted to take a picture of the children and brought a movie for them. The older one would not allow her to do either. It was such a Cain and Abel moment. The older one only recently accepted us back into her life. The younger one has never rejected us. Again my heart was broken to see the horrible scene of bickering and jealousy in my older daughter's words and actions. She, the physician, is the one who has everything the world would say is success, but she resents the younger one and maybe always has resented her. They both threatened to leave immediately. The older one even lashed out at her brother and her father, who were just sitting there watching the drama. She did leave later after somewhat of a truce, but told me that I could meet her tomorrow for lunch. They went to another condo across the bay from where we are staying. At one time this older daughter was a Godly leader who heard the Father's Voice, but she used the Holy Spirit to manipulate us to get her way. My perfect Angel of Light is now Doctor Daughter, and she uses her power to demand her way. I think she's hurting so badly, but she is hiding something. I have misread her for so long, I don't even know her. Today I will go to her in love and humility to try to reach her. I love her. I miss her and my beautiful granddaughters; I cannot even express the pain of our separation. Now I only see them occasionally, when she will allow it. I have been praying and seeking the Lord's direction in this reunion. I had such hopes for reconciliation, but there are so many hidden issues. The counselor in me understands the possible strongholds in my daughter's heart, but the mother side of me doesn't really want to know the sorrow. I have already grieved the loss of this child. The bridges connecting us have been cruelly burned and the pilings have been destroyed. I feel like I have rowed a pitiful little boat across the great gulf between us, and have cried and pleaded for her return, only to see the enemy mocking me in my pitiful attempt to reach out to her. I hear the Father's voice saying "love, love," so I'm asking Him to flow through me, and help me keep my peace in Him. I only want to say what He is saying. I only want to do what I see Him doing.

    1. Thank you for sharing. To say your story is difficult would be an understatement. I will pray for you. Others who follow the forum will as well. The final chapter is not written. I'll be praying God's word to you: "love, love," ... that His love will triumph in you, your daughter, and family.

    2. I feel your heart of love and hurt and frustration. Keep listening...the Lord will guide you in each step. I've been in a similar place for some time...and have heard the Lord say so often, "Wait and trust, listen, serve." He is able to
      do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything you could ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us."
      Praying for you and your family.

  2. Dear Sister, thank you for sharing your beautiful open mothers heart. Your description of rowing the pitiful little boat is beautiful and terrible and awesome. I relate to the description with pain in my heart and tears and knowing. I am reminded of a card my Mother gave me with words from her favorite hymn. "And I leave my boats behind. Leave them on familiar shores. Set my heart upon the deep and follow you again my Lord. Drop the oars, stop struggling against the tide, look again into the eyes of love and hear Him sing over you.
    Blessings from Australia.