Harden your heart. This is a phrase that we all have heard since we were children. I would like to look at how it occurs in each one of us more than we might imagine, and the results of which are damaging to our relationship with God and others.
To harden the heart is to make yourself stop feeling kindness and sympathy, to make yourself apathetic and indifferent to someone or something. Relationships can sometimes take a toll on our emotions causing desensitization of the heart. Our relationship with God can become strained as we sometimes harden our heart unknowingly towards Him. An antonym for the word harden is weaken, and when we harden our heart it weakens our relationship with our Lord.
It happens all the time in the smallest of ways as the enemy tries to infect our psyche with propaganda that we allow to put enmity between us and God.
We must guard our hearts and minds that we do not let small setbacks and disappointments to become deep-seated ill will. There are many different circumstances that we can morph into hostility and resentment towards God, such as the loss of a job, the breakup of a relationship, failure to receive recognition or advancement at our employment, or the inability to achieve a self-perceived social status that we think we should have. All anger and resentment initiated toward God will end in our own shame.
If we blame God for what we perceive as a loss in our life, this will result in animosity that often leads to bitter resentment. When we allow ourselves to become bitter, our disappointments can trigger disturbing emotional images and experiences that we relive over and over in our minds, blaming God. We must not waste our lives trying to get back what God has taken away for our own good.
The Bible give us many instances where a hardened heart will bring about distress and destruction.
Ephesians 4:18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into disaster.
Sometimes in God’s plan for our lives we have to take one or two steps back in order to take ten steps forward. We cannot allow ourselves to be become antagonistic towards God when these perceived setbacks occur. Circumstances that we initially see as stumbling blocks and hindrances, many times are in truth, correction from God as He disciplines us to remedy our direction in life. Letting go of the things that we may think are right for us is hard, but holding on to them makes it impossible for God’s plan to unfold for our life.
Proverbs 3:12 tells us that the LORD disciplines us because He loves us, just as we correct our children because of our love for them. We must not harden our hearts toward our Savior as He works in our lives on our behalf. Doing so will bring about our downfall.
Proverbs 29:1 further explains if we refuse to receive discipline from God and become hard-hearted and stiff-necked, after many reprimands we will be destroyed—shattered instantly—beyond any hope of recovery or healing.
God allows each and every situation we incur in life to educate and mature us; that’s why we must never become bitter and disheartened. The hard times we face in life are not punishment from God, they are preparation for a wonderful and glorious future filled with hope and promise. God always does what is the best for our lives so that we in turn might live our life to its fullest potential. At the time His discipline might not seem right, but we must not harden our hearts and become bitter towards Him as He acts as the loving Father He is, preparing us for our future.
So when your life feels like its going against the grain, don’t resist God to satisfy your own short-term appetite. Relax and trust God, as no matter what you think is the right plan for your life, He has a better one if you will but trust Him. If you feel that your life is headed in the wrong direction, allow God to change the course you are taking.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
Related Article – http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/22-inspirational-bible-verses/