Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I started to talk about men with broken hearts. Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counsellors including pastors grapple with the dilemma of helping the broken-hearted.
Does God’s Word have any remedy? Psalm 147:3 (NIV) says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. A newer translation (CEV) is more direct: “He renews our hopes and heals our bodies”.
We men probably struggle the most when we are betrayed—a betrayal of trust—when someone you trust the most betrays your confidence. The Bible actually says in Proverbs 25:9, “…do not betray another man’s confidence”. There have been many who have gone through, or are today going through, this experience.
A Betrayal of Trust
In the Old Testament we have the story of Joseph, who came from a large family, and he was the favourite son. His brothers held a serious grudge against him and eventually sold him as a slave. They literally hated him. Later on Joseph was put in a prison for a crime he didn’t commit and forgotten by everyone for two whole years. This is a remarkable story with a brilliant ending, but Joseph’s heart was broken along the way. The writer of Genesis says, “The Lord was with Joseph”. That’s what made it bearable.
Our Lord Jesus loved and ministered to the crowds but shared his personal live with 12 close friends. One of them was Judas Iscariot who for a bit of money betrayed his master to those who wanted to kill him. Jesus knew the pain of betrayal.
Betrayal of trust happens at all levels, but who can understand the agony and the pain of a wife or a husband who is abused or cheated by their spouse, a child molested by her own father, a high-school student bullied by fellow school mates, an employee oppressed by an abusive boss—all these incidents and many more can betray our trust and break our hearts.
Betrayal is real, and very painful. When people break our trust we tend to think that God is also like men that can not be trusted. When a person’s trust is broken can it be ever regained? Can they enter into trusted and meaningful relationships again?
An unknown author said: “Trust is a fragile thing. Once earned, it affords us tremendous freedom. But once trust is lost, it can be impossible to recover. Of course the truth is, we never know who we can trust. Those we’re closest to can betray us, and total strangers can come to our rescue. In the end, most people decide to trust only themselves. It really is the simplest way to keep from getting burned.”
God Can Always Be Trusted
It is true that when a person’s trust is broken it takes a long time, if not forever, before he could trust anyone again but it is not entirely impossible. In the same way if one or a few persons betray your trust, it doesn’t mean that you can not trust anyone. Whether or not you can ever trust people ever again, you can always trust God because he never makes a mistake—moreover he never betrays his faithfulness. He comes to the brokenhearted man, woman or child.
The psalmist in Psalm 139 understood this when he prayed:
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
The scriptures make it clear that he never leaves nor abandons us. The one who watches over us neither sleeps nor slumbers. Even more so when we are bruised and hurting he is always near us to heal and make us whole again. He loves to help the brokenhearted.
Some Christians are taught to believe that if you are a Christian everything should go well for you. You should never get ill, never be abused, never fail, always should be on top, not on the bottom and so on. God didn’t promise that the righteous will never suffer hardship and troubles, but he promised us special nearness and tenderness when we are hurting.
Psalm 34:18-19 says: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;” Therefore when something goes wrong let us stop blaming ourselves, others and God; instead let’s recognise his ever-abiding presence even in the midst of trouble and pain.
Footprints In the Sand
You may have heard the poem “Footprints in the Sand”; one of its versions reads:
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints, one belonged to me and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way, but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. “I don’t understand why in times when I needed you most,you should leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
- Are you like the person in the poem, battered, bruised and unable to stand up under the load of guilt and pain?
- Are you wondering whether there is anyone who can truly understand and care for you?
Psalm 147:3 says, “He [the Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. The Hebrew word for ‘bind’ literally means to bind on, to wrap around, to bind up (a wound), to bandage, and to envelop, to enclose. God is able to put a healing bandage on your bruised emotions, to wrap his presence around you, to envelop you with his love and to enclose you in a community where you will continue to receive his forgiveness, acceptance and see your healing completed. You are safe in God’s loving arms!
No matter how badly your heart is broken today you can come to Jesus, who knows what exactly what you have gone through and what you are going through. He was despised and rejected by men—a man of sorrows—and familiar with suffering. He carried our sorrows; he was pierced for our transgressions, and by his wounds you can receive healing to your broken heart.