When things are hard, and they begin to affect us deeply, what is going on with our heart? Scripture reminds us quite a few times to “not lose heart” and to be encouraged.
As I have been sharing transparently about the hard journey I have been navigating, I have literally felt heaviness and a weight in my chest and gut. What is going on with this? How can the circumstances of this world (of which I am no longer a citizen since Jesus came into my life!…whew!) can have such a significant effect on me? What is happening to me and what authority am I not using to be able to work through these hard things?
Our heart is referred to in Scripture as our “bowels” and can be defined in the Old Testament as liver, kidneys and bowels. So what is up with this being recorded for us all to read about and learn from? David was a man after God’s own heart – so God has a heart too! We are to love the Lord our God will all of our heart, soul and strength. (Deut 6:5) And what about the circumcision of the heart? And the Heart of flesh, and hardened hearts? When we stop to look at the word “heart” in the Bible, it is all over the place!
We are now learning about the “gut” brain – what neuroscientists are now referring to as our “second brain” and in some circles it is even a “first brain” as it is in our digestive organs that brain chemicals are created and distributed from. So, with this new knowledge and how we operate on a “gut feel” or “heartfelt” emotions that can drive a decision, how do we operate in this space? How do we NOT lose heart? All of this is fascinating, and there is so much to explore here to learn about how to manage these stressors that come into our lives so often these days. But this is for another newsletter article.
Now, as we take a close look at the original text on this phrase “lose heart” in the Greek, it has nothing to do with our heart at all. I was amazed by this!! It is a phrase used to describe extreme exhaustion and weariness and to be completely spiritless and to give up – sounds A LOT like how I can feel some days! We are commanded to not succumb to this extreme fatigue. This ties into rest, and the command to make sure we rest and take that sabbath! This has been something I have not been faithful in lately. With so many tasks to take care of for my mom’s estate, my disabled sister’s care, my multiple jobs, my family, it has taken a toll. I confess before you all that I have not been obedient in this and to take a full day of rest, as commanded by the Lord. This is something He is letting me relearn. He is so gracious, and faithful, and somewhat gentle in His reminders. This one has been loudly communicated to me over the last 30 days with so much about REST and Sabbath coming at me from so many areas- articles, clients I serve, a class I am taking, friends encouragement, etc. I have heard it but haven’t fully implemented it as I know I should. As of the writing of this article, I am recommitting to that Sabbath Rest – that full day of rest, so that I cannot and will not lose heart, so that I can continue to do the things I am being called to do in the Kingdom. I do not want to wear myself out, and become impotent for the King of Kings. I choose Him, and obediently rest in these days where anything but rest is available in the world.
There is also a “therefore we do not lose heart” recipe in 2 Cor 4:15-16. I love seeing these answers right in bold print in His Word. Paul states to the Corinthians that in our continual state of thanksgiving and gratitude, we don’t lose heart. What do we know about gratitude and how it sustains us, refreshes us? All of these “commands” that Paul gives us are for our own good, and our own survival in difficult times.
How is your sabbath resting being challenged, my friends? What do you need to do differently to guard this sacred time for yourselves? How can you shift into gratitude to guard and protect your heart from weariness?