Keep Your Heart Tender

Tender 柔

I was reading in Hebrews 3 this morning, and was taken back to another time months ago when I read this same passage.

And I wrote in my journal about forgetfulness.

We are a forgetful people.

The Israelites were a forgetful people.

God did amazing things for them and through them- and yet when hard times came, they complained and doubted and sought other gods and idols for guidance.

We do the same.  I do the same.

Sometimes I forget all that God has done for me in seasons past- or if I remember- it does not keep me from self-pity and complaining.

Sometimes I wish for an easy life, one free of pain and hardships.

I envy those who seem so carefree and from the outside look like they don’t have any troubles.

The truth is, we all need encouragement.

We need to exhort one another to remember all that God has done for us.

To meditate on who He is- His precious promises.

We begin to grow weary and lose heart when our eyes gaze more steadily at our problems than at our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How do we keep our eyes on Him?

  • We stay in the Word and seek Him in prayer.
  • We attend church and fellowship with other Christians who are also seeking Him and spending time in His Word.
  • We look for opportunities to encourage others around us and to send notes or speak words of encouragement to those who are in times of trial or difficulty.

Hebrews 3:7-19

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10 for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 As in my anger I swore,
‘They will not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17 But with whom was he angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

I don’t want to harden my heart.

I want to enter into the rest and comfort that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ longs to give us.

Choosing daily trust and receptivity to the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Even when our eyes cannot see His provision, and we feel ourselves growing weary- we must immerse ourselves in His Word and keep our hearts tender as we read and meditate on His promises to us.

Confess your weariness to God and allow Him to strengthen you according to His Word.  He will direct our steps, He will bring peace to our minds as we keep our gaze steadily on Him.

Lord, sometimes we are like the Israelites.  We forget and we grow weary.  We get angry and cry out in sorrow and grief.  At times this life feels bitter and filled with pain.  Sometimes it seems like we are alone in our suffering.  Help us to remember your suffering.  To consider the great lengths you went to when you redeemed us.  May we never stop seeking you- pouring out our hearts to you.  Honestly sharing our fears and doubts, but always arriving once again as David did, to worship in submission to your glorious Name.  As we seek you through your Word and prayer, lead us to Scripture passages that will strengthen our resolve and renew us.  Help us keep our eyes fixed on you.  Show us how we are trying to pull ourselves up in our own strength, and help us surrender the burden of our situation to you.  Merciful and loving God, as we seek to obey you and keep our hearts tender- lead us to others who can encourage and support us in this season.  We know you will provide all our needs.  May your joy permeate our days, as we know all circumstances can be used for good- to bring you glory and to mature us and draw us closer to you.  Through Jesus Christ our Savior, may our lives glorify you and testify to your matchless Name.  Amen.

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