Bad Heart?

Here’s a question I received:

How can I trust my heart when the Scripture says that “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked”?

 This is a great question for several reasons.  I love to talk about the new heart that the Lord has given us and I love to talk about the proper ways of Scripture study. 

The verse quoted is from Jeremiah 17:9…

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;  Who can know it?

 If we take this verse out of its context, it seems quite straightforward and quite condemning.  However, the verse has a context.  It stands in the middle of a great passage on the futility of trusting in ourselves and the call to trust the Lord.  The passage is not about the heart, but about trusting the Lord.  There is also the larger context of the rest of Scripture.

Let me ask a corresponding question.  If we take Jeremiah 17:9 alone, what do we do with Psalm 37:4?

Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

If your heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” then what could it possibly desire that the Lord would give as a response to your delight?  Will He “bless” you with the object of your lust or greed?  And isn’t “delight” an activity or feeling of the heart?  How could you ever delight in the Lord with such a wicked heart?

The answer to this question is found in Ezekiel 36:26…

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 

It is the desire of the Lord to live in heart relationship with His people.  Sin has truly corrupted the human heart.  But listen: when anyone turns his or her heart to the Lord and receives new life in Jesus that person receives a new heart!  That’s incredibly good news!  We are people of the heart, after all, and we are led by the movements of our hearts.  Certainly there are enemies that continue to seek to confuse or distract our hearts, but the simple truth of Scripture is that there is a new – and good – heart within us. 

Seek the Lord with your heart!  He wants a love relationship with you, a relationship that acknowledges feelings and the deep waters of your soul.  He is real and a real relationship with Jesus is a relationship of the heart.  You don’t have to trust your heart, but please trust the Lord of your heart! 

I love to receive your comments!

dave@gracefortheheart.org

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Bad Heart?

  1. Amen! This is something God has shown me recently. Thank you for addressing it.

  2. Wonderful! I love the way you put this! The verse from Psalms is the exact verse we were studying in our group when the Jeremiah verse came up.

    It is amazing to me how easily my otherwise well grounded in Scripture friends succumb to the idea that “Yes! I am saved by grace alone! Now I must do things so Satan does not take back my heart! Now I must feed my ‘old nature’ so it doesn’t take over! Now I have to force my own sanctification!”

    They forget this important truth – the God has given them a new heart. 🙂

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