Struggles of the Heart

My heart as of late has been struggling to think on things that are true and right. Sometimes the distractions of this world just tug at my heart and then I feel like I’m losing my footing, even though my footing is a firm foundation, Christ the Solid Rock! But when my heart wavers in belief, it’s like a slippery slope, and I need to focus my heart on Jesus, and turn from the lies of my heart.

And sometimes I have these slippery feelings and I just have no clue where they are coming from. Earlier this week I felt this way–irritable, troubled, but I couldn’t seem to pin point the root of it, all I knew is that whatever was troubling my soul was bringing about rotten fruit, you know? Grumpiness, edginess, defensiveness, being easily offended at the slightest thing. And then I hate that–I can see myself responding to life like that and I’m frustrated that I can’t get out of it. 
But we are not alone, right? And so I poured my heart out before the Lord, asking Him to show me what in the world was getting to me, what was causing me to respond to life in such a negative way. And once again, God did not disappoint. I just continued reading through 1 Peter, which truly might be one of my favorite books in the Bible, always convicting and encouraging, and the Holy Spirit really spoke to me through this verse:

1 Peter 4:8-9, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”

And it spoke to my heart. I knew and know that the root of my sin was a lack of love, love towards others, the church, anyone else but me (because we always have love for ourselves…). And I realized that the thought of being inconvenienced in anyway really causes me grief! I can see this in so many areas of my life, where I feel put out because I’m slightly inconvenienced, and I know without a doubt that what was going on in my heart earlier this week, even though I couldn’t remember at first, was because there was something that had come up that truly made me feel like I was going to be inconvenienced in a huge way and I wanted no part of it.

But Christ calls us to a life of inconvenience, a life of self-sacrifice, selfless love. And boy does that go against everything my little self wants. My flesh cries out for its own comforts and conveniences, for ease in relationships, perfectly planned days, time to myself, and on and on. My flesh wants to feed on itself, as gross as that sounds.

One of the beautiful things about our life in Christ is that He helps us to stamp out self and love others, and there is so much more true satisfaction and joy in thinking of others first, putting aside our own desires and learning to love on others as Christ did for us. Did Christ ever put His own desires first? Nope. Even when He sought out some time alone to pray, people followed Him, and instead of telling them He needed time to Himself and the Father, as Holy as that could have been, He turned around and spoke to the crowd and loved them.

I share this with you today because I’m sure I can’t be the only one who struggles like this (“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man”), and I want to encourage you to pray your heart out before the Lord–and say it like it is, with all its yuckiness. And listen to what the Lord might show you about your heart. And be encouraged that He is there, teaching, convicting, forgiving, and comforting.

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