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Healing for a Broken Heart

Posted on July 14, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Did you know there is a medical condition called broken heart syndrome? It’s called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy. The condition occurs when the heart muscle is weakened from emotional stress such as losing a loved one, a break-up, or continual anxiety.

If you have suffered from a broken heart, you know how stressful it can be. You can also identify with the term that so aptly captures the feeling. It’s like your life has been taken from you, as if your heart has been ripped from your chest.

Heartbreak is overwhelming distress that results from severe disappointment or an unexpected tragedy. Loss is often involved; death of a beloved family member or friend, health crisis, unanticipated unemployment, or destruction of home and property. Sometimes the root cause is betrayal by a close friend or a failed love relationship. In all situations, the heart is deeply involved and considerable time, resources, and effort has been invested.

However, it should be pointed out that a broken heart is not always bad. Such is the case when we agonize over sin that leads to sorrow for wrongdoing, and then confess, and repent before the Lord.

A broken heart also has positive consequences when we grieve over the wickedness and wrongs of society and are motivated to bring about change. So many of the causes you and I are asked to support were started by someone whose heart was broken by the plight of the poor, abused, downtrodden, sick, helpless, and those who have suffered tragedies.

In Psalm 69:20, the Psalmist writes, “Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” He felt helpless and that no one cared, nobody offered comfort. His sentiments express the loneliness that accompanies heartbreak.

But we are not left without a remedy for a broken heart. Our focus text puts it this way, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Although a broken heart may seem irreparable, God heals the condition. It doesn’t happen instantly but in time you will be restored.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. One benefit of growing old is having experienced the faithfulness of God to His promises. I’ve been blessed to have lived long enough to “Taste and see that the LORD is good…” (Psalm 34:18) One day you awaken and realize that all your troubles are in the rearview mirror. “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…” (v19) God is faithful. Take it from this veteran of spiritual wars.

God heals the brokenhearted. Nothing you are going through right now will last forever.

But what about those people and things we lose in life that are irreplaceable?

I recall coming home from school and telling my grandmother I was hungry. Since dinner wasn’t ready, she offered me something to “tide me over.” It was always just enough to get me through to the evening feast. God understands how deeply you loved the one you lost. He knows no substitution will do. In those times, He gives you what you need to “tide you over” until you gain the ultimate healing, that place where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…” (Rev 21:4)

Whatever He gives will be more than enough to meet your needs, bless you, and keep you — until that glorious day when you enter into His eternal presence.

For more on this topic, check out this article: God Protects and Vindicates His Children

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How to Manage Sorrow

Posted on May 2, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Psalm 119:28

In yesterday’s message, based on Philippians 4:13, we learned how Christ gives us strength that leads to contentment as we undergo life’s painful trials. Today, our focus text deals with the most severe of all human experiences, sorrow.

Sorrow is a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune. Grief is sorrow at its worst, deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.

Do you recall the first time you experienced sorrow? For me, it was when my Uncle Buddy died. I was seven at the time. My mother was so upset she required medical attention. And my grandmother remained on the sofa for days crying and looking at Buddy’s school pictures. In fact, that incident made such an impression on me I wrote a novel about it, Farewell PFC Polk: The End of a Nightmare.

Sorrow is part of the human experience. All of us have and will go through it. None of us are exempt.

My granddaughter has a boyfriend. It’s a middle school romance, her first. They call it “going out” these days. I asked her where they went and she said, “nowhere.” Today, it’s puppy love, nothing more than a touch of infatuation. But one day, hopefully never, she will probably have her heart broken.

As a pastor and parent, I’ve seen what a broken heart from a breakup can do. It crushes, robs hope, and makes the victim physically ill.

High hopes and the things we value most, taken away from us, and never to return = sorrow. Whether expected or unexpected, these incidents slam us in the gut and take us out of the game.

In the 80s, I worked at a radio station in Houston, Texas. One day, an unexpected staff meeting was announced at which the on-air staff was fired. “We’re going in a different direction, changing formats to News-Talk,” we were told.

How could we make our house payments? How could we survive? Where and how could I find another job? I have a wife and a child to take care of.

When I arrived home, my wife was visiting with a friend. I recall sitting in a living room chair: wiped out, crushed, humiliated, embarrassed, and frightened. And in tears, I prayed, poured out my heart to God, and begged Him to help us.

His answer didn’t come immediately. In fact, it was slow to come. Six months to be exact… a job in Birmingham, Alabama making a fraction of my Houston income. It took several years for us to recover from that setback, but in time, God restored us and gave us something better.

Back to our focus text. “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” That devastating experience in Houston taught me that sorrow doesn’t last forever. It just seems like it while you’re going through the fire. But God’s word is everlasting, true, and completely reliable. Like in that great hymn, Standing On the Promises, that’s how you manage sorrow.

Study God’s word. Find what He has to say about your dilemma. Then pray it back to Him. Take God at His word. He will strengthen you to weather the storm, renew your hope, teach you contentment, mature you in the faith, and deliver you safely to the other side.

For more on this topic, check out this article: When You Need Wise Counsel

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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