A Make-Over of the Heart Bible Study

Welcome back to a new week! I pray that God is doing a beautiful transformation within you! I know that I need HEART SURGERY at times....and my prayer cries out, "Purify my heart, Lord!" I don't like what I see at times....jealousy, envy, anger. Oh, Jesus, how I LONG to look like You! Give me a heart like You! Create in me a CLEAN heart, O God!

WEEK THREE
A Healed Heart


Do you know how much your God loves you? Do you know how much He longs for you? How much he cares for you? He is your Prince. You are his Princess, His Beloved. Jesus is sending you a love letter today. He wants YOU to know that you are HIS heart’s desire, his first love. He gave his life for you so that YOU could come home to join Him in Heaven. He loves you and has called you by name!

Transforming our hearts includes putting our trust in the Lord. We easily trust ourselves, our friends, the media, and the “world.” We need to transfer this trust to God. Psalm 37:3 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Another translation says “you will live safely and prosper.” But it can be so hard to physically TRUST, can’t it? Sometimes our hearts do not want to give up control. Sometimes our hearts have been betrayed by someone and we find it difficult to trust. Sometimes it just seems too scary to surrender ourselves.

A much loved passage of scripture, my life mantra, is Jeremiah 29:11-13. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Putting our trust in the Lord. This is what FAITH is all about, isn’t it? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Faith is all about trusting, even though we can’t see it. Faith is to completely believe and trust that God has my life in His control, even when I can’t physically see how God is working.

For I know the plans I have for you,” God tells me. Wow, God has a plan for MY life?

That is exciting, isn’t it? God has a plan. He is in control. I can release my life to Him! That is awesome, that is incredible… until you hear words like cancer or divorce or “your child is not performing where he should be” or “I’m sorry we’ve eliminated your position and we’ll have to let you go” or “we are moving.” It’s easy to trust God and His Plan when we LIKE his plan. But what happens when His plan is NOT our plan? What happens when His timing is not our timing?

Question:

Has there ever been a time in your life when you doubted God’s plan? Have you ever lacked trust in His timing? Write down any examples.




I’ll never forget sitting in a booth at a Pizza Hut restaurant when my husband gave me the terrible news that his company was closing and if we wanted him to keep his job, we would have to move to a different state.

This was devastating news for me. I did not want to leave my job as a teacher in an upscale school district. I did not want to leave my colleagues, with whom I had established my worth as a qualified teacher. I did not want to leave my cute house on a golf course. I did not want to leave my best friend, who had been teaching and mentoring me in my Christian walk. And most of all, I did not want to leave my mom and live 200 miles from her. It was only a 3 -hour car trip, but it seemed like a million miles. I wanted to be near my mom. I thought this plan would be the end of my happy and fulfilled life!

But God had plans to prosper me, not to harm me, plans for a hope and future. The minute our family moved to our new city, we felt a deep bond. It felt like home, like we had been here all of our lives. We fell in love with the city, but most of all the people. From the very beginning, God encouraged us in our decision to move.

The house we live in was a total blessing from God. In the natural it didn’t seem possible to own it. At the time we had two mortgages, because we hadn’t sold our old house yet. But, God always provided. Trust in the Lord and you will prosper.

We were uncertain and nervous about moving to city far from home where we didn’t know anyone. God brought many Godly friends who have been like family. Trust in the Lord and you will prosper.

I was pregnant. It was scary not to know the doctors or the reputation of the new hospital where we would be delivering our baby. There were lots of questions and what ifs. Trust in the Lord and you will prosper.

By putting our trust in the Lord and surrendering to His will in our lives, we have felt perfect peace in our move, despite any problems we may have faced. Trust in the Lord and you will prosper.


Prayer

Lord, help me to trust in You and Your perfect plan. Quiet the fears and doubts in my spirit. I surrender (your own situation) to You now. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.


But what do you do when you have a wounded heart, a broken heart? How can you trust God when it seems like he has abandoned you? We need to let God heal our broken hearts. We need to give him our lives, surrender to his love, and put our trust in him.

God heals our hidden wounds when we allow Him. Psalm 147:3 says “God heals the broken hearted, binding up their wounds.” We need to let God reveal our hidden wounds, accept God’s forgiveness, and forgive and release those who have hurt us. We need to be honest about the pain in hearts, both to ourselves and to God. Psalm 39:2 says, “But as I stood there in silence- not even speaking of good things- the turmoil within me grew to the bursting point.”

I believe it is, so many times, unforgiveness, that stands in the way of our relationship with the Lord- with our growing closer to Him, and corrupts our relationships with each other. Another favorite scripture of mine is 1Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude or self-seeking. LOVE DOES NOT KEEP A RECORD OF WRONGS.” Let me repeat that again. Love keeps NO record of wrongs. We are not to “keep score” or keep track of when we have been wronged. But, if you are like me, you can remember those offenses, sometimes from YEARS earlier.

What I tend to do is have a PITY PARTY. I lament over how family and friends have hurt me. I’ll say things like, “Oh poor me. How could she have done that to me?” Or, “My husband should have KNOWN I wanted him to…” But, we are to release unforgiveness. We need to “let go, and let God.” God cares about your hurt, your pain.

But, when you hold on to it, it can devour you. It can destroy you. God’s word tells us to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger.” We are to “be kind and compassionate to another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” How can we refuse forgiveness to someone who has wronged us when Jesus has forgiven us of all of OUR sins, past, present and future? God knows us. He created us. He knows that when we have anger and hatred harbored in our hearts we cannot be complete in our relationship we Him. The Bible says “ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART, FOR IT IS THE WELLSPRING OF LIFE.” When we keep anger and hatred stored in our hearts it contaminates our heart. We have polluted the wellspring of life.

Questions

There is a proverb that says, “Unforgiveness is like YOU taking poison and expecting the PERSON who hurt you to die.” Think about that. Unforgiveness is a poison that kills the person who is refusing to forgive. Why does unforgiveness hurt YOU more than the one you are refusing to forgive?




Is there someone God is laying on your heart to forgive? Is there anyone in your life, past or present that you are refusing to forgive?





I can't wait to hear your responses! I am praying for you, dear ones!


5 thoughts shared....:

Denise said...

Yes, there have been times in my life, when I doubted God's plan, and lacked trust in His timing. Some examples:In April 2000, after trying to have a baby for 16 years,I had to have a total hysterectomy at the age of 32. But, God had plans for me, I would become a mother to my own momma, her caregiver until the end of her life on April 21, 2006. Gods timing is always right on time, and perfect. He knows what is best for you. Unforgiveness hurts you more than the person you are refusing to forgive, because you are constantly dwelling on those unresolved painful feelings. You are drowning in stagnant water. My stepfather sexually abused me, and it was so very hard to forgive him. He passed away almost five years ago. I went to his grave, burned a picture of him, scattered it around his grave, screamed at him, asked him why he did it, cried like a baby, and then, told him and God that I forgave him.

Angela said...

My goodness, what a powerful testimony, and awesome scriptures to feed my spirit. Thanks so much Tracy for sharing this amazing devotional. I will try to see if I can participate today...lots of wee ones today at the daycare, so I may not be able to participate..but wanted to let you know this blessed me greatly.

Peggy said...

Blessings Tracy...and I trust in the Lord and He does good for me and through me and in me as I dwell & abide in Him...and oh how I enjoy His safe pastures! I, too love that verse from Jeremiah 29:11 and you are so right that it's much easier to do when it's a GOOD PLAN and not so easy when God uses difficult ones to show His glory & change our character or life circumstances
...when we can't see the GOOD or GOD!

I shared in your SPRING post a bit about me doubting God's plan & running ahead of His timing. And though I have examples throughout my life, they are not ones I share
in such a public way. Explained in Spring post comment.

Before leaving to come to Mexico,
I went through many HEART changes & healing through counseling. I believed I had forgiven everyone who God showed me and even more until in one session, I found the one who I was hardest on and least forgiving...it was myself. I was praying with my pastor about FORGIVING and when he got to me, I broke and rivers of tears flowed.
I had forgiven even a rapist but could not forgive myself. I went through each "bad" experience of my life up until early 90s and said, "I forgive..." but then I discovered I needed to say,
"I forgive you, Peggy". I constantly am reminded to forgive the moment I feel trespassed even by me...so that God will forgive me! Somehow, I think it is harder to forgive yourself. And I so believe that the proverb you shared is so TRUE...because the unforgiveness goes in and seeps through your system like poison.
It seeps into roots of bitterness
or resentment. I even had gone home and asked my dad for forgiveness for rebelling against him and marrying my husband. I never heard him say, "I forgive you" until when he died and left a letter by his bed & Bible...with words for each of us but to me, were the words, to my Peggy, I forgive you!

It was brought to my attention that if God can forgive my sins and me, and remove them as far as the east is from the west, was I putting myself higher than God by saying that I could not forgive...am I above God? ( I may not be saying this right but I hope you can get their point). It surely was humbling!

Healing of your heart must start with FORGIVENESS and from there flows the blessings of God to bind up the wounds and restore the brokennness and bring HEALING!
Piece by piece! Each part of your heart is refined and melted by the LOVE of GOD to start transforming you with compassion. And wells will spring forth with LIFE & LOVE to soothe the pains of others!

Thank you Tracy!Much prayer and blessings over you, your family & your blog ministry. Thank you for praying for God to get rid of any anger, bitterness or rage that may be lurking in my heart! Thank you for your sweet teaching & prayers!

Proverbs 27:19 said...

Has there ever been a time in your life when you doubted God’s plan?

Yes. Having my mother-in-law live with us. Also, my husbnad's unaccompanied assignment to Korea.

Have you ever lacked trust in His timing?

Yes. Being diagnosed with cancer. Korea assignment.

smooches,
Larie

The Surrendered Scribe said...

I've definitely struggled with trusting God and His plan. We had a chronically ill baby that we almost lost when she was 3 mos old. She continued to struggle her entire first year while my husband's job changed and then ended, my dad was diagnosed and then passed away from lung cancer, and we moved 300 miles away when hubby got a new job. Talk about Footprints in the Sand. The Lord had me probably over His shoulders like a sack of potatoes, I felt so lifeless.

Fast forward five years and it's been hard, very hard, but so blessed. Our daughter is healthy, our son blossomed in the new school and church, and those hard times I write about and those stories are getting published.

I just claimed the promise He doesn't walk us around the fire, He carries us through.