Can God Restore My Heart?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
The head may be the center of the intellect, the control center of the human body, but it is the heart which has captured the interest of lovers and the fancy of poets because the real emotional issues of life come from the heart. Long ago, Jesus put this truth in focus when He said, “… out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
It is your heart, not your head which reveals the real kind of a person that you are. When Jesus taught the multitudes in the greatest sermon ever preached, He pronounced a special blessing upon those whose hearts are pure, something which has nothing to do with your social background or church affiliation. “Blessed are the pure in heart,” He said, “for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
OK then, if you want to see God, better learn how your heart can be pure. The very thought of a pure heart in a world of moral corruption leaves us feeling inadequate, short of the mark, and frustrated because we feel that we can never be good enough to qualify; at least that’s how I feel.
What’s the solution? We know the problem–it’s what’s within, not what people see without. We camouflage the dark thoughts and feelings, not wanting others to see what we are really thinking. We understand the dark pronouncement of Jeremiah, who lamented, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We can identify with that; but is the heart beyond cure as Jeremiah said?
God not only identifies the problem, He provides the solution as well. He says, “And I will give you a new heart–I will give you new and right desires–and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love” (Ezekiel 36:26, LB). That’s good news! A transplant! No, not someone’s partly worn-out model which they can no longer use. Its re-creation, a touch of the Creator which changes the way you think, the way you act, and the way you relate to people.
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy,” says Hebrews 12:14, adding a somber warning, for “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Our English word holy conveys an image of someone who is a monastic or a recluse, but it really speaks of purity of heart which comes because God has touched a life and changed a heart.
This is both God’s work and ours. The changed heart is the result of conversion, and this is totally His doing, but the part which we play is the deliberate choice where we come down on the side of decency and rightness.
This business of being pure in heart isn’t a quick fix, but a lifestyle and a choice which sets your feet on a path which leads to God. Forgive me for certifying the obvious, which may not be very obvious at all: Life at its longest is short, very short, and sooner or later we face eternity. When Jesus pronounces a blessing on the pure in heart and says they shall see God, it is the positive assurance that heaven is a reality and that the crown goes neither to the swift nor the powerful. It’s within the grasp of the smallest, the least significant, and even the poorest. The crown of life belongs to the man, the woman, the teenager, even the child whose heart is pure and upright before God, something that is not an impossibility at all. That is good news, friend, very good news!
Resource reading: Matthew 7:24-28