A diagnosis for what ails you
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12
John10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
John 8:12 “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light
John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
Seems like every year the alarm is sounded for the oncoming flu season. The flu is unpleasant and for some people exceedingly dangerous. It seemed like 2020 was going to be a typical year. No one had any idea that we were headed into a global pandemic with deaths numbering in the tens of millions.
January 8, 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was closely monitoring a reported cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. An outbreak investigation by local officials was ongoing in China; the World Health Organization (WHO) was the lead international public health agency. As the pandemic spread across the globe, the virus left a trail of deaths in its wake.
When we come down with serious flu-like symptoms, we go to a doctor. The doctor diagnoses our problem and gives us a prescription. In most cases, a week or so later the aches and pains are gone along with the congestion. However, COVID-19 proved to be no ordinary virus.
Our human spirits are subject to spiritual “flu” as well. In the same way that we catch the flu, we catch a broken spirit.
What is a broken spirit? In the Scriptures, the heart and spirit are connected and often used interchangeably. The Hebrew word translated broken or crushed is nake. Nake is used only four times in the Old Testament. It has the sense of beaten, wounded, battered, or defeated. It refers to someone or something that is brought low or subdued in their condition or status. A broken spirit or heart is downcast and consumed with despair and discouragement.
Hearts are wounded and spirits are broken when we are young. Difficult circumstances and the people in them rob us of our peace, stability, and safety. Focus a moment on the family. Are repeated mistreatment, rejection, abuse, and lack of love and support at work? Were both parents present? Was the father present and active or passive or completely absent?
Fractured families and inappropriate, irregular relationships leave us sad, confused, and fearful. Our spiritual and emotional vitality is sapped. The light of our souls is woefully dimmed. Battered and bruised, we pull up the covers and hide in the dark waiting for it to pass. But sadly, it may go on year after year without end.
A wounded spirit can produce an internal, almost lethal depression. Life, joy, happiness, and cheer are diminished, even extinguished. A hopeful and good spirit can endure sickness and adversity, but if the spirit is despondent, even when there is nothing overtly wrong, then life itself becomes difficult to bear.
REFLECT & PRAY
Proverbs 18:14 The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
Father so often my heart is in pain. The joy seems to flee and I feel empty and hollow. Only You can bring healing to a wounded spirit. Please allow me to experience the joy of my salvation.
Who has not experienced joyless periods at different times in their lives? We seek a solution. The Father has the perfect prescription. The Father does not make promises that He does not keep.
A wounded, broken spirit is equivalent to spiritual heart disease with a corresponding array of symptoms. The solution, the remedy is also spiritually based. Recognition and use of the spiritual resources which the Father has given us are the medicine for a wounded heart. Recovery and restoration are possible employing them
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Trying to change our circumstances or running away from them is not the solution. What is? Changing our response to our circumstances. As we change our way of thinking, spiritual heart health becomes attainable.
How do we get a healthy heart?
The Father provides an outline for repairing a broken and contrite heart: listening to and heeding rebuke and correction, respecting the Father, and being humble.
31 If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
33 Respect him for the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
A new perspective and a new skill set are provided when we study and internalize the word of God. The Father offers through His Word and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit a whole new way of living. The Father uses a contrite heart, heart sickness, to bring about transformation. Contrition is expressed “in submissiveness to God’s word and obedience” (NIDOTTE).
Isaiah 66:2 I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who respect what I have to say.
The Father provide helpful guidelines that facilitate transforming sadness and fear into joy and confidence.
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
8 Instead, respect the LORD and turn away from evil.
16 Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26 The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.