The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.
Ultimately we are alone with our hearts. Even now, as you read this, sadness or joy that only you know lies in your heart. The closer we are to others, the more open our hearts; but even in the most intimate relationship, the other person cannot see, and more to the point, cannot feel all our emotions. Nor can he/she know the motives and feelings of our hearts except what we reveal. We may laugh when we are distraught. We may feign sorrow when really we are happy. We may feign reverence and love for God when in truth we have no feeling for him at all.
But it is God from whom we cannot hide our hearts. We may even hide our hearts from ourselves, denying what truly lies within us. But God knows the heart and Christ reveals the heart, i.e. by our response to him and to the gospel. And it is the Spirit who changes the heart through rebirth and sanctification.
Be uneasy if you are trying to hide sin in your heart. God knows the sin. But then, turn to Christ’s mercy and grace. And take hope in the Holy Spirit who will turn your heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and who will continue the work of sanctification in you. How wonderful it is to know that the very one from whom you cannot hide your heart is the same one who can truly transform that heart. God knows what you are feeling now. If it is joy, then give thanks to him for your joy. If it is sadness or anxiety or bitterness, then pray to him for help now. He will not be shocked by what you reveal, though you may be when you realize what is in you. For God’s desire is to bless, to transform you that your heart may know the peace and joy of Jesus Christ.
© 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org