Hard Hearts

This year I will be celebrating my 9 years since giving my life to Jesus. Nine. years.

I’m not quite sure where the time has gone, but I can tell you that it has gone by very quickly. I used to look at people that were saved for a decade and longer and wonder what it would be like to have known Jesus and all His goodness for that long. Now that I’m almost there, there is so much I wish I had known earlier.

Towards the end of last year, I was reading a book called Killing Kryptonite by John Bevere. He mentions this scripture, and I had read it before, but it really jumped out at me this time.

Ecclesiastes 7: 8 (MSG) – Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out.

Top: Mr P. Pants: Superbalist. Shoes: Vans @Sportscene. Earrings: Lovisa. Bag: Mr P

When I read this and a bit of the book, I realised that what John was saying was true. God always leaves the best for last. This is exactly what I needed at that exact time I needed it and I ran with it. In that moment, and now still I believed with all my heart that my very best lies ahead of me, because that is just how God operates, and this pattern is evident all through scripture.

I’m learning, that as time goes on, life seems to get more difficult. We live in a cruel, cold, hard world that runs on a system that is designed to break us down and have us in a constant state of discouragement. It is so easy to forget the promise that the best is still on its way.

The one thing that I wish I had heard more about in my earlier days of salvation is how to handle it when God seems far and things don’t seem to be getting better. That’s where I’ve found myself recently – at a plateau with my relationship with God and also with my life in general.

That “best” is just not showing itself hey Lord. Like, I’m waiting and praying and believing and faithing it as hard as I can buuuut.. I’m still here.

I started to wonder what gave me the balls to ask the God of the universe, and creator of all for more. Who on earth do I think I am to want better than this. How does it get better than this anyway? My Jesus did actually die a horrendous death for me to be saved, so what more do I need?

The lesson here is really so layered, and there are a few points so I hope you’ll stick with me to the end so we can walk thing thing out together. I had a few realisations.

  1. My heart is really hard, and that makes Jesus really sad.

Mark 3: 5 (NLT) He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts.

My hard heart is what has been keeping me from seeing God in all the little things. Now, I had always thought that a hard heart was a decision that was made. Like, you decide to be nasty and angry. And you decide to turn away from God and stop loving the way that you should, but its so much more complex than that. A hard heart is developed over time, gradually. You don’t even realise that its happening.

A hard heart is an unteachable one. A heart that has made up its mind and isn’t open to another way or correction.

A hard heart is unempathetic. It laughs at a friends pain because you had warned them about the consequences of their actions prior to the outcome.

A hard heart see’s someone else pain and ignores it.

A hard heart wakes up and checks Instagram before greeting their spouse or thanking God for a new day.

A hard heart withholds compliments, support and the celebration of a loved ones accomplishments.

A hard heart has been through a lot. Life has thrown it many punches and it’s tired now. Is it really worth getting back up just to be knocked back down again?

2. If nothing good ever happened in my life again, would I still believe that God is good?

Because it’s easy to believe that God is good when things are.. good. But what happens when your mom gets sick and the healing just isn’t coming? What happens when that financial breakthrough is just not coming fast enough in spite of your faithful tithing and stewardship? What happens when your friends abandon you because you’ve spoken God’s truth and it was just too hard for them to hear?

Would you still believe that God was God if things in your life stayed exactly the way that are right now until you died? For me, this is a hard test to pass, but it’s the true test of our love for God.

Do I love God for what He can give me, or for who He is to me?

Psalm 119: 81 – 88 (NLT)

81 I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. 82 My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? 83 I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.

3. Even though it may not seem like it, He is faithful to fulfill EVERY promise He has ever made.

It may not seem like it looking at how things are right now, but God is still good. He is still in control and His promises will come to pass. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.

Take your eyes off your now and put your eyes on our God. Take your focus off the negative and reflect on the positive. Switch off the TV and get off Instagram and get on your knees and open your bible to remind yourself and God about His promises, because God is everywhere, and He wants to do the exceedingly abundantly above anything you could even think of.

But He can’t do it when your heart is hard and He can’t do that when you don’t believe that He actually can do it.

I’ve often felt like things don’t go my way because I didn’t have enough faith, or I haven’t been a good enough steward of the things that I already have been given.

As much as these could be true at times, I’m beginning to learn that my faith is linked to my expectation, and that very expectation is the thing that God is looking to exceed.

In a world where it seems like the only way to get by is to swipe your credit card to buy food, and Eye Witness News is a constant reminder of just how sick the world is – be encouraged: God is still God, God is still faithful, and God is still in control.

Thank you for stopping by.

Arlene

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