The Savior’s Heart

The enemy’s goal is to alienate us from God. His work doesn’t end on the day of our salvation but it only intensifies us we embark on our faith journey and cling to our Savior Jesus Christ. His seemingly relentless temptations are both his attempts to draw us away from our new life and as tests on our faith. He capitalizes on the diverse trials we face to paint a picture of God that is cruel and indifferent to our deepest needs. He whispers to our unsuspecting ears that God delights in punishing us. And in the Christian’s weakened state due maybe to intense and constant hardships and sufferings, he or she becomes vulnerable against such lies.

the_Savior's-heart

Through these lies, he affects our thoughts and emotions to sow seeds of doubts, resentment, and bitterness in our hearts. It is the embittered heart that clouds the truth about God and before we know it, the seeds sown begin to germinate. It is like The Parable of the Tares. Although it was used to illustrate the kingdom of heaven, it can also be seen as the field of our hearts. The Lord sowed good seeds into our hearts, but the enemy comes to sow tares. (Tares are weedy plants that grow in wheat fields). If we let him, what will our harvest be?

This is another examination of a heart that has been battered both by suffering and the devil’s lies. Though we wouldn’t dare think of turning away from God (no, not even in our wildest dreams!), the enemy might have succeeded in dousing the fire in our hearts that should have been burning for our Savior. Or maybe, the utter hardship and confusion the trials brought have wounded our hearts and the devil’s whisper “Has God indeed said…?” (Gen. 3:1) has somehow found its way to our grieving heart and driven us to ask in desperation, “Does God really love me?”

Such was my story and I didn’t even realize it was happening. These deep things about faith and our relationship with God, these roads in our spiritual journey that are less travelled – I didn’t give them much pondering. Until a few months ago. The hard trials and bouts of discouragement and the devil’s incessant whispering, taking advantage of the crisis, had brought me to Jesus’ feet each time, begging for help, love, and mercy. But what was becoming of my heart? Every now and then, it wallowed in self-pity and fought discouragement so powerful it had tried to drown me many times. I’m thankful that those episodes don’t last longer beyond an hour.

When my Savior and I found each other twelve years ago and He freed me from all sin, guilt, and shame, the feeling was so exhilarating that for months, I just wept in gratitude and awe before Him. It was a blissful “honeymoon” and I talked about it to whoever cared to listen. Then healing didn’t come. Instead, fiery trials did. The illness and suffering intensified and would last for years. Often, I felt like laundry being tumbled helplessly in the washing machine and there was no one who could pull out the plug to stop it.

Through those years, images of an angry God would float in my mind as I received the cruel blows on my body, blows that scared me and sent me trembling to the core and cowering in a dark corner (figuratively) (crying now). At other times, I saw glimpses of the Lord in my mind just standing in the background, watching me suffer so hard. One time, I even imagined my angel pleading to Him to do something (more tears). Those thoughts would parade in the periphery of my mind, unbidden, born out of desperation due to the intense suffering that battered my body. In those agonizingly difficult times, I couldn’t help but think of the almighty, all-powerful God as a severe, punishing God. It was always a painful thought.

Yes, my relationship with my Lord and King has been rather bittersweet, with peaks and dips like a roller coaster ride (now I can smile).

I can think of two Biblical men who felt the same way I did. David said in Psalm 32: “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me.” This was my heart’s cry, too.

Through the years, my soul echoed Job’s soul-wrenching discourse. Season after season of sickness and suffering had me owning his words. I understood on a very intimate level every anguished word he spoke:

 But he is unchangeable [of one mind] and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me. (Job 23:13-16, annotation mine)

Job, once a powerful man, in his extreme suffering, became so terrified of God.

But back to the present. There is a need to heal from the wounds caused by our misconceptions of God, otherwise, we will never find true joy and wholeness in Him. And without our full trust in Him, that He is a just and merciful God, we can’t have complete courage to live the life He has purposed for us. Even if the trials have not fully passed, there is a need (now, not later) to re-acquaint ourselves with the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, the express image of the invisible God.

I would like to see the heart of Jesus between the passages of Isaiah 53. We can know Him within the pages of the Gospel, how He went about proclaiming the Good News and healing all manner of sickness and disease and liberating those possessed by devils. But Isaiah 53 tells in detail what He has really done for mankind. For you and for me. It tells the poignant story behind the cross:

  • He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
  • He was smitten by God and afflicted.
  • He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities.
  • Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace.
  • With His wounds we are healed.
  • The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
  • He makes intercession for the transgressors.

Today, we declare that the devil’s lies and the false image of God he has conjured up in our minds are ground to powder and scattered in the water never to be seen again.

The wrath of God against the sin of mankind was poured out on the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing left for those who will receive Him as their Savior. God has laid our iniquities on Him. He bore them all upon His body — our sin, shame, punishment — to bring us peace. His wounds brought us healing. If He was crushed, afflicted, and punished on our behalf, how could we even think that God would delight in doing those things to us after we’ve received the Savior? There should only be peace and healing! For those are assuredly the things the Lord has won for us. He has finished the work! In fact, griefs and sorrows should not hold us captives anymore — He has carried them all! And even if we fall, He ever intercedes for us.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25)

Here’s the heart of our God and Savior laid bare. He loves us so much He gave His all. Let not the enemy steal all that He had died for to give us: life and life abundantly.

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Kimmy Marino says:

    Thank you for sharing your words today and painting such a beautiful picture of Jesus love for us. God has gifted you with the ability to express your thoughts into such beautiful writings. I always look forward to your next blog post. I’m also enjoying seeing your beautiful painting. You are truly an inspiration to me and so many others. May God continue to bless you to continue.

    • RinaPeru says:

      I thank and praise the Lord for blessing you with my humble writings, Kimmy. Thank you, too, for your beautiful words that encourage me. About a year ago, the Lord whispered to my heart to “tell it as it is”, and ever since, my writing has changed. Glory to Him!

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    There are times we each one have a time of suffering. How much worse it would be if we did not have Jesus with us during those trials. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    • RinaPeru says:

      “How much worse it would be if we did not have Jesus with us during those trials.” – how very true, dear Hazel! It would be a most terrifying thing! Thank God for Jesus!

  3. Naomi says:

    Thank you for your post. There is nothing new under the sun. It is encouraging to read of others like Job or David who’s hearts have been in the same place as ours and come through. We must remind ourselves of God’s promises-He is not a God that He should lie.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Naomi. Daily reminders about God, who He is and what He promises will help us overcome any and all obstacles.

  4. Liz says:

    Beautiful post Rina! So glad we are neighbors at Faith Filled Friday. The part of your story about having accepted Christ and then being attacked really struck a chord with me. So many people assume that once you are saved everything will be rosy. But the truth is the enemy is mad and trials still come. It is our faith that gives us hope when others have none! Thanks for your encouraging words today!

  5. Carrie says:

    I heard a terrific message this week. When the devil lies to us we must know the Bible well enough to confront him with it. He may be cunning and smart enough to know our weaknesses, but God is sovereign. And His Word silences Satan. I cling to this!

    • RinaPeru says:

      That is so true, Carrie. I also use the Word as a powerful weapon against the enemy’s lies. There are moments when we are weak against them, but the Lord will not allow them to triumph over us – praise Him!

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