I have written before about God’s heart; but I don’t think any of us will ever truly comprehend it. I believe it is simply too … everything! … for us to even fathom the depths and the heights and the widths and the breadths of His unfailing love.
So after opening this devotional with the words that I don’t think we will ever truly comprehend God’s heart, why am I writing this it at all?
It is because I believe God revealed a tiny bit of His heart to me yesterday. After a walk when we got caught up in a sudden thunderstorm, just as I was trying to dry off a bit, I suddenly started to cry. And it wasn’t just a bit of teary eyes and a sniffle or two. It was uncontrollable, heart-felt, gut-wrenching sobs that lasted for what seemed like hours.
It actually wasn’t hours. Maybe one hour total, probably a bit less. But it was enough to thoroughly and completely upset me. Especially since I didn’t know where it was coming from. Yes, my husband had told me something during our walk that had saddened me, but not to this end. And so I sat down on the couch, and between sobs, I blubbered out, “What’s wrong with me, God?”
The answer was that quick, gentle impression that often marks the presence of God’s Spirit: God was revealing to me a tiny glimpse of His heart.
Wow. If that “tiny” glimpse nearly overwhelmed me, how could He possibly be able to go on with His acute and painful sadness and grief?
I just assumed this grief He showed me was about the condition of the world, the condition of people’s hearts, etc., and I’m sure that God cares equally as much about such things. But it wasn’t until this morning that He permitted me to know what was the source of this profound grief. You see, thought it has been going on for a few days, it was only yesterday that I was made aware of the extensive fighting, looting, plundering and robberies that is going on in South Africa. And as I was praying for South Africa this morning, God placed yesterday’s experience with profound grief in my mind, and I realized that what He had specifically shown me was His heart for South Africa.
That doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a heart for every other hurting country/city/family/child. Remember, I was only granted a “tiny glimpse” of His heart! I am sure that His heart is breaking for all the other hurt as well. But God was specifically giving me a message about South Africa, and He used this as a means of stirring up my somewhat cold heart so that I would actually start caring about His hurting children in South Africa!
After that rather long introduction, let’s take a few moments to try to wrap our minds around the fact that we can actually know God’s heart.
First of all, the Bible teaches this: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) Thus, we see that we can know God’s heart. Our job is to, “Be still…”! If you are longing to hear God’s voice, try going off by yourself and just meditating on this verse. It won’t be long before God begins to reveal Himself to you!
Secondly, we are told how to know God’s voice. To be still, as in the previous verse, yes, but how does God reveal His heart to us? “So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10-12 NIV) Thus, it is God’s Spirit that reveals God to us, so that we might freely understand what God has given us! If you are longing to understand more about God, try going off by yourself and asking for God’s Spirit to reveal God anew to you!
Remember, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)
No, the intense grief I felt wasn’t pleasant; but I have to tell you that after the fact, the joy that God would reveal a tiny bit of His heart to me was equally as intense. And, perhaps most importantly, the burden that this experience placed on my heart for the people of South Africa was more than worth any sense of unpleasantness.
We should all seek to know God’s heart. Hebrews 11:6 tells us this: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (ESV). It is by seeking His heart in faith that we are rewarded by God. This doesn’t necessarily mean we will receive material rewards, although Matthew 6:33 tells us that when we seek God first, all of our needs will be met (“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ESV). Rather, it means that we will feel that joy that comes from drawing a tiny bit closer to God, that peace and well-being and sense of love that comes from knowing that He is entrusting a tiny bit of Himself to you. To say nothing of the rewards of knowing that you took part in the intervention of God in a specific situation!
I urge each of you to seek the Lord. Ask for His Spirit to reveal parts of Himself to you. Respond to where His heart leads, and then be prepared to experience the joy that can only come from our learning a tiny bit more about our best friend!
Oh, and I urge each one of you to join us in our call for global prayer for South Africa and their current situation. Check out this link for a guide to how to pray: https://sermonillustrator.org/2021/07/14/call-to-prayer/ !
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.