This is such a reflective time of year- a time to think about what really matters, about what is important. We often have new year resolutions and ideas of how to change our habits, and these things themselves can be good.
For me, I have been asking God to show me what I need most of all at this time, and he has reminded me that I need to know, trust and feel that God’s heart for the world is full of love.
I can know that God’s heart is full of love and goodness as I read different bible passages. In Romans chapter 5, I am reminded that God shows His love for us through the death of Jesus His Son. For some one to give their life for my sake is extraordinary, never mind the Son of God. Because of his death, and the cleansing and forgiveness He brings, I can ask God to cleanse my heart and restore a steadfast spirit within me. I know that God’s love is powerful, merciful and open to forgive.
I also trust in God’s promises and His love. This is more tricky, because life is tough- we go through disappointment, illness, trauma and bereavement. I have to choose to keep trusting, even when I feel forgotten or life doesn’t make any sense. The verses from Proverbs 4 resonate: ‘ ‘Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life’. The temptation is to become bitter or to quietly give up. God calls us to look to Him, and see that His love is unchanging, slow to become angry and full of mercy. This steady self giving love heals our brokenness, and rekindles our trust.
I need to feel God’s love too. I know that feelings can come and go, and not to rely on them entirely. But I am probably my best self, when I live close to the Father’s heart. God’s heart of love melts my heart of stone, and makes it tender. His Holy spirit ministers to me, helps me forgive, gives me strength to start again, and inspires me.
I love worship songs sbout God’s heart. Remember the old Graham Kendrick song ‘ Teach me to dance to the beat of your heart,’ or Zach Williams’ There’s only love in the heart of the God’ or Tell your heart to beat again’ by Danny Gokely. Sometimes music speaks to our souls in a profound way.
For all of us, if our heart can beat to the heartbeat of God, everything else will flow from this. What more can we ask.
Gracious God, we are so delighted that you reveal the Father’s heart though Your Son Jesus Christ. In Him, we see your goodness and grace, your wisdom and beauty, and we bow down with humility and wonder. We know our hearts are so easily polluted with envy and greed, with pride and selfishness. Please cleanse us by your spirit, and bring renewal so we might have pure hearts, and be able to see Your hand at work once more in this world. May we not become weighed down by cynicism or negativity, but be open and receptive to see that You are doing a new thing. May we know Your love, may we trust You, may we receive your love and mercy very personally in our lives. Heal us, bring renewal, and then may the Father’s heart of love radiate through our lives, and touch all those we meet, for his is His will, Amen.