Part 2: Cure for a Hardened Heart

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” Proverbs 4:23.

If you ate junk food every day never minding portion control, calories, serving size, and nutritional information you’d end overweight and at risk for heart disease. Eventually, you could suffer a heart attack and die. In my last blog I wrote about a serious spiritual disease that can lead to destruction and death. It’s called a hardened heart. Our spiritual condition is even more important than our physical condition because our souls are eternal. If we aren’t careful about our daily spiritual walk then we can easily suffer from this disease.

To review, a hardened heart keeps pace with the world more than it does with Jesus. It doesn’t seek out or listen to Godly counsel or wisdom from the Bible. It stops rhythmically communicating with God and seals off the work of the Holy Spirit. It loses faith in God’s abilities to bless us and work miracles.  It is selfish and sows bitterness, anger, resentment jealously, malice, discontent and other evils. It causes more harm than good. It calls evil good and good evil and justifies evil actions. It silences the conscience and suppresses truth. It does not desire forgiveness, healing, faith and hope in God. It substitutes pleasure for righteousness. A hardened heart, without treatment, could fall away from God entirely and be left spiritually corrupted and bankrupt, deprived of spiritual nutrients and every good and amazing thing God had planned for it.

What a sad spiritual state in which to be found! We all know people with hardened hearts. Perhaps you even remember when your heart was once hardened before you opened it up and let Jesus inside. Maybe you even remember a time as a Christian where you heart was hardened and God had to get out His spiritual defibrillator to jump start it again. This could even describe your spiritual condition at this very moment. So then, how do you treat a hardened heart? It is easier than you think. The good news is that a hardened heart has a proven and effective treatment regimen. This is a daily regimen and the results will show over time as our hearts begin to soften and open up to God. God can change any heart, no matter how hard, if we let Him.

First, ask God to search your heart. You need to recognize that your heart may have a problem with it. Heed the warning signs and check for symptoms. We are often spiritually blind to our own issues. Just as an EKG can reveal a heart condition, God can reveal a spiritual condition we need to address. Proverbs 16:7 is one of my life verses. It says, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Pray that God will show you where your heart is vulnerable and weak. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” Psalm 139:23-24. “Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:40. “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart” Psalm 26:2. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5. Before we partake of Communion we are instructed to examine ourselves: “But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup” 1 Corinthians 11:28. I love 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. It lets us know that we’re human, we mess up but God helps us get out of our mess: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” There is hope for all of us yet!

Second, ask God to change your heart. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10. God can fix your heart, no matter what its spiritual state. You just need to be repentant. “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” 2 Chronicles 16:9. David lost his son after committing adultery and murder and then asked God to change his heart: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” Psalm 51:3-4. This would be a good prayer for us to prayer too when we know we’ve screwed up. Stormie Omartian in the book “Power of Prayer to Change a Marriage” says that David spoke of his heart often in the Psalms (38:10, 40:12; 55:4; 61:2; 109:22; 143:4 and 69:20). She goes on to say that repentance and worship are key to preventing and changing a hardened heart, as was the case for King David. 1 Kings 3:12 lets us know that we should ask God to replace hardened hearts with wise and discerning hearts. In 2 Chronicles 9:23 we read how God put wisdom in Solomon’s heart because he asked God for it. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” David asked for God to direct the hearts of the people towards Him (1 Chronicles 29:18). Perhaps you know the song “Change My Heart Oh God” by Eddie Espinosa. As well as a song, it’s a good prayer too! It goes like this: Change my heart oh God/Make it ever true/Change my heart oh God/May I be like You.  You are the potter/I am the clay/Mold me and make me/This is what I pray. The scriptures say that God can and will change our hearts if we let Him. He wants to mold our hearts into His image. “The LORD said . . . ‘I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be clean. . . . I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart. . . . You will have only pure thoughts, because I will put My Spirit in you” Ezekiel 36:16, 25-28. “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 11:19.

Third, fill your heart daily with God’s Word. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:1-11. You’ve heard the expression that people are only as good as their word. In many cases, people don’t live up to their word. God always lives up to His Word. God’s Word is very powerful – more powerful than anything. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” Hebrews 4:12. God’s Word never changes, but it has the power to transform us. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. God’s Word will keep us spiritually grounded. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers” Psalm 1:1-3. We must spend time in God’s Word day and night, not just when it’s convenient for us. Otherwise, Satan will make sure it’s never convenient for us. It’s a commitment we need to stand firm on every day or our enemy will easily gain a foothold. 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 says that Satan’s workers disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Satan wants to destroy us. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Part of the armor of God we use to ward off Satan is the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). This is the Bible. God’s Word can be used to accomplish His purpose in each of our lives: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11). Finally, God’s Word gives us wisdom. “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise” Colossians 3:16.

Fourth, spend time in prayer. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:1. Prayer helps keep us centered on Jesus Christ and the line of communication open with Him. It give us intimacy with Him,  just as it would if we had a deep and personal conversation our spouse, loved one or close friend. Jesus prayed often to God and expressed His innermost feelings (Luke 22:39-46, John 17). Prayer has the power to transform our hardened hearts. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Prayer comes to our aid when our hearts need help and healing. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16.  We are to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This means that whenever we think about praying for something or someone, we should do it. God will hear our prayers and if our hearts are aligned with God, He will give us our desires. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him” 1 John 5:14-15. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. Prayer needs to be a daily part of our routine, just as reading God’s Word should be. “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” Psalm 55:17. “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” Luke 6:12. “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” Acts 6:4. Finally, prayer is a powerful weapon against our enemy, Satan. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18.

Fifth, be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who dwells inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16). God actually put the Holy Spirit in our hearts. “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” 2 Corinthians 1:21. The Holy Spirit will keep our hearts from wandering astray. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Galatians 5:16, 22. We are strengthened through the Holy Spirit and can better understand God. “That He [God the Father] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:16-19. The Holy Spirit fills us with what is good and pleasing to God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” Galatians 5:22, 23. “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth” Ephesians 5:9. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts and helps us to accomplish His ministry to others (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and Acts 2:4; 6:3; 7:55; 11:24; 13:9, 52).

Sixth, surround yourself with people whose hearts seek after God. “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17. We should be careful who we let influence our lives. “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” I went to college with someone who shared the same birthday as me. He was on the basketball team and did well in school. He died at age 24 from an accidental drug overdose. His mom said he never did drugs until he began to hang around the wrong crowd. We need friends who can give us Godly counsel. God often uses our friends to tell us what we need to hear. “The godly offer good counsel, they know what is right from wrong” Psalm 37:30. When we are going through a spiritual battle, our friends can help us fight. We simply can’t do everything alone without other Christians. We need each other to fend off Satan and his followers. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” Proverbs 11:14. “A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety” Proverbs 24:5. “Every purpose is established by counsel; by wise counsel wage war” Proverbs 20:18. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” Proverbs 15:22. “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” Proverbs 19:20. “Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” Proverbs 19:27. This is why God tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Who we chose to listen to can powerfully impact our hearts and our actions.

Seventh, meditate on how God has blessed you. The LORD bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” Numbers 6:24-26. We must never forget that it is God who gives us good things in our lives. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” Ephesians 1:3. Blessings come when we live righteously before God. “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot” Proverbs 10:6-7. “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield” Psalm 41:1. “Blessed are those who keep justice, and he who does righteousness at all times!” Psalm 106:3. Blessings remind us just how much God loves us when we follow Him. They always help us to maintain faithful hearts in the storms of life and give our hearts hope for the future.

I hope and pray this daily regimen will work for you! All this being said, the best thing we can do is make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives and our schedule each and every day. We need to keep Him our number one priority and focus our efforts on praising Him and worshipping Him in our words and our actions and especially in our hearts!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).


























About faithfull4him

My name is Christina Rivas. I am a child of God. In the end, it will not matter how much money I made, how many children I had, what I did for a living, or in how many ministries I served. What matters most in life is how I live each day for God. I am a Navy wife, currently stationed in Erie, PA. I am originally from San Diego, CA. My husband has been in the military for 13 years and counting as a hospital corpsman. My husband and I grew up attending Calvary Chapel of El Cajon, but we now attend Grace Church in McKean, PA. I enjoy photography, writing, card making, swimming, biking, hiking, traveling, and exploring the Great Outdoors in my spare time.
This entry was posted in Christian, Christianity, Faith, Jesus, Spiritual, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Part 2: Cure for a Hardened Heart

  1. popsdumonde says:

    Christina,

    This is so rich in scripture! May I print Parts 1&2 off, to more easily reference them?

    I have had a make-over in my own heart and am interceding daily for my wifes heart to be softened. I need to resist the urge to harden my heart towards her as she continues through this divorce process.

    I am so glad that I am no longer trying to solve my problems alone. There is safety in a multitude of counselors. My Pastor is also a lawyer, he not only rightly divides the Word of God, he suggests seeking further legal advice if warranted. Plus, he prays over my situation and has attempted to encourage my wife to reconsider what she is doing. Many such as yourself, give wise counsel and prayer support, God is present to help!

    I am so grateful for your love of God and the saving grace of Jesus. Your prayers are much appreciated and encouraging. The effort you put into this series is amazing. I pray that many are drawn to your blog posts, so they also may be blessed.

    • Hi Stan!

      Sorry I got to writing this so late in the week! I always like to put my full effort behind my blog. :) If you wish to print it, please do! I know it’s a lot of information! You sound very positive in your comments, and I am so thankful to hear it in your words. I know God has given your heart a makeover, and it shows. It is never too late for God to work a miracle in your wife’s heart, if she will open up to Him it will happen. God told me yesterday to tell you to pray for your wife more than anything right now, and it seems He is telling you the same thing. You definitely have surrounded yourself with the right people. They can be so encouraging and lift us up through the dark times in our lives. I pray your wife will tap into a Godly support structure too.

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so grateful God has given me the ability to encourage you and others through writing and sharing His love and His Word. You have been a great encouragement and good friend to me, and I appreciate your honesty and sincerity. It makes it easier to pray specifically for your situation.

      Have a blessed day, Stan!

      Christina

  2. popsdumonde says:

    Hi Christina!

    Thanks for the permission to print this series. You obviously put a tremendous effort into writing these.

    I’m very grateful for your continued prayers. The message you heard about praying even more for Beth confirms the prompting I’ve had to do so. I have been following the prompting and will keep praying. God holds the hearts of kings in his Hand, how much more so for us!

    It was a sleepless night lastnight, so it was great to find “Part 2″ here. I fully understand my dependence on God and it couldn’t be more clear that only He can be about change in our hearts.

    Have a blessed day also,

    Stan

  3. I love this two part series! It is so full of scripture.

  4. Thanks! I am always deeply encouraged by your awesome posts too, Jeremy. You are right on with the Bible being our best code of ethics! I wish more people would believe it!

  5. 4hispraise says:

    Christina, I would like to add my appreciation for all of the energy that you put into your posts. How wonderful it is to have found your voice for God so young in life. Your writing skills will give you entry into many places… please never let up- He has called you to share your gift. milt

  6. Dylan says:

    I have been having blasphemous thoughts like the unforgivable sin and rejecting Jesus. Can these thoughts create false emotions or second guessing. I’m going through spiritual warfare. There will be a moment of strong belief and then rejection. I want belief becuase there Is so much proof. Will Godsoften my heart? Will Jesus guide me back? I pray a lot about it everyday. I have cried a couple times asking for it. Did the Holy Spirit leave me? Am I going to hell? I’m only 14. And just curious can a person literally sell his/her soul? Pray for me. I want strong belief in Jesus. My parents say its hormones and God wont let me go. I am already saved. Im wuestioning my belief but want Jesus again. I asked God for my bellief to come again. My nana went through the same thing at my age. She says Godwill guide me back, is this true?God bless,

    Dylan

    • Dylan,

      I have been praying for you since you first wrote your post. God will soften your heart and guide you back. At times we are all like doubting Thomas. This is normal. I was in college when I had a lot of questions about my faith. I had to do a lot of searching through the Bible and in my own heart to find the answers. The fact you wrote this comment shows the Holy Spirit has NOT left you. I was 17 when I rededicated my life to Christ in high school. Even though I had accepted Jesus into my heart when I was five, I wasn’t walking righteously for Him. It seriously changed me as person the day I told God I needed Him. I can still remember the day I cried to God in the shower and asked him to help me. And He did! He showed me who He is and He did a radical makeover in my heart. He took away my depression, my anger, my sorrow and my pain. It definitely made finishing high school easier–and college too! He will do you same for you, if you make room for Him in your heart and allow Him to lead you back to Him.

      Christina

  7. Rob says:

    Christina,

    I love your blog! The reference to scriptures is awsome. I have been living with anger, depression and resentment since I was a teenager. My wife and I have been together since High School. We married young and had a beautiful child. We were just out of High School and had no family support. I relied on her for emotional support. I was unstable and suicidal and full of rage and anger. I look back now and I understand clearly that I had placed too much responsiblity on a young girl. Her mother and grandmother passed away when she was young. Her father was not in the picture. She was moved through different families and took alot of abuse. I was supposed to be there for her, but I only added more stress to her life.

    Now 23 years later, we have been seperated on and off for 5 years. Last month we were back to arguing and it led to me letting my anger get the best of me. I said some really horrible things to her. She has hardened her heart and will not forgive me. I love her and our children more than anything in the world. I pray every day for her heart to be softened. Only God can work this miracle. I also pray for the well being of my chilren and for me to change my ways and to be a good father and husband. It is hard to have faith and blogs like yours help me to keep praying and keeping the faith. Thank you.

    • Hi Rob,

      Thank you for sharing your story with me. Never give up on prayer and the power of God! It can soften hearts and change lives. God can restore your relationship and your marriage. He will do it in His time, in His way. Just be patient and believe that He is working in her heart. How wonderful it is that God has transformed your life from the inside out. I will keep you and your family in prayer. May the Lord do a mighty work in and through you both.

      God bless,

      Christina

      • Rob says:

        Hi Christina,
        I came across your website once again, while searching for a hardened heart. My wife and I actually got back together again back in November of 2012. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. We are actually divorced today. The laws are making it easier for divorce and we accomplished this without a lawyer by ourselves. I failed her and my children and feel horrible. We couldn’t get along and I agreed to file and accepted everything she she wanted to make it easy. I gave up custody rights and even visitation, because we were supposed to stay living together and still be a family for the children. Well, I guess we had one to many arguments and now I was forced to leave and she doesn’t speak to me and I haven’t seen my children. She said that they don’t like me and do not even want to see me, which I doubt is true. She is keeping my children from me to hurt me deeply. We were even planning on starting new and getting remarried. I believe the problem stems from things that happened over 20 years ago. She still brings up the past, even from before we were married as teenagers. She has never forgiven me and has a hardened heart. No matter what I do, she has closed herself to me. I am lost and feel terrible that I let down the most important people in my life. I need to keep my faith in God and surrender everything to Him. Only He can work a miracle and soften her heart. Thank you for you inspirational website and please keep my family in your prayers.

  8. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board
    and I find It truly useful & it helped me out
    a lot. I hope to give something again and help
    others like you helped me.

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