Have been thinking about how suffering affects our hearts. When we go through a lengthy season of trials and disappointments, our hearts can feel weighed down. We may feel inadequate. We may go into a protective mode and not want to hurt again. We may not want to take risks. We may not want to be around others as we dont want to burden them or because we are afraid of hurting again. We may believe we are unable to love. But thanks be to God that suffering doesn’t have to end this way. God saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). We can have hope! We can be healed of our brokenness. We only need to go to God daily and be honest with Him about where we are emotionally. His promise is to fill our hearts with love by the Holy Spirit. Even the brokenhearted can love once again by the power of the Holy Spirit ( Rom 5: 3-5). What a beautiful promise of hope!
@Lakshmi, this reminds me of Matthew 5,
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Even as God heals the brokenhearted (he comforts those who mourn), the Christian life isn’t about pumping spiritual iron to be Christian bodybuilders for Christ (though if you’re called to that, ok). The Christian life involves an ongoing poverty of spirit and broken-heartedness over the sin of the world, and our own sin. Not to beat ourselves up, but to live in dependence on God, empowered by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for the verse. If you can unpack it a little more, it would really help. I need clarity on what the characteristics of ‘Perseverance in faith’ and ‘Christian bodybuilding amidst trials’ as you put it would look like. I may be able to tell the difference in myself but not always able to see that difference in others.
I don’t mean to disparage Christian bodybuilders.
We’re familiar with a proud, self-sufficient, “I’ve got what it takes” attitude toward life. I’ve lived that way.
By contrast, the brokenhearted, poverty of spirit, and mourning approach to life is how we become open to living by the love and grace of God.
When we are sustained by the Holy Spirit, this enables us to persevere in difficult situations in a way that is impossible for the person attempting to live in their own strength.