My mother-in-law, as a pastor’s wife, hosts ladies’ Bible studies regularly. She is currently working through a book called “Help! I’m a Woman!” This month’s lesson was on heartache, but she did most of it herself, using the book as a jumping-off place. Some sources for the material include Janet Treadway’s “Father, Please Heal My Broken Heart” and gotQuestions?org “How can I recover from a broken heart” and Beverly Mattox’s “Help! I’m a Woman!” This is what she presented to us (student version below):
I HAVE A HEARTACHE!
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. –Proverbs 15:13
The dictionary defines heartbreak as “crushing grief, anguish, or distress.” While there are many causes, we know that the pain of a broken heart can be enormous.
There are many Biblical examples of those with a broken heart.
Nehemiah had been taken in the captivity of Jerusalem and was the cupbearer of the king. He asked concerning the condition of his homeland.
What was he told? Nehemiah 1:3
What was his reaction? Nehemiah 1:4
Nehemiah had never been sad in the presence of the king. (It is said that the cupbearer was not allowed to be sad in the king’s presence, and there could be a serious consequence.) What did the king say to him? Nehemiah 2:2
When our heart is broken, others know it as did the king.
In one day, Job lost his children, almost all worldly possessions, his health, and his means of livelihood. Through all his heartache, Job learned what all believers can learn – God is faithful and good and trustworthy.
David, a man after God’s own heart, suffered many heartbreaking circumstances. Each time, he recovered and was an even stronger man of God. Psalm 34 gives examples of how David overcame heartbreak by calling on the Lord.
What was his first step? Psalm 34:4
What assurance did David have? Psalm 34:18
What confidence did he have in the love of God? Psalm 34:19
Above all else, the one thing that gets you past all the pain that you are experiencing from a broken heart is prayer. Jesus is always there. Jesus IS your family and He IS your friend. He is your comfort in times of trouble and he is always there for you no matter what. Continual prayer to Him to guide you through this time of need will definitely strengthen you, not only emotionally, but spiritually. With continual prayer for strength and hope, you also strengthen your relationship with God. And, in turn, with a stronger relationship with God comes a more peaceful frame of mind. The heartache will soon wither away into a glorious new day of hope and endless possibilities.
As we turn to the Lord, we know:
The Lord is Strong; Do not Fear…
We Can Trust the Lord for Deliverance and Healing…
We Are to Look Forward and Believe…
We realize our strength is in the Lord. Without Him there is no hope… with Him all things are possible. But how can we possibly heal our broken heart?
1. Recognize the pain and understand it is OK to hurt.
Sometimes we seek to cover the pain by ignoring it, but we cannot ignore it and think it will go away.
Understand it is OK to hurt. We try to push the hurt away, but we can’t. The hurt isn’t outside us – it’s inside. So, in our attempt to push the hurt away, we actually push the hurt deeper inside. We then can spend the rest of our life running from this suppressed hurt.
It is during this time that we need a lot of love, encouragement, and hope restored. We realize how frail we are and see our great need for God. We cannot heal without Him.
2. Seek the Healer.
Seek God as our healer! Just like we tell a doctor our symptoms, we should tell God how much we were wounded and need His healing touch. He will hear the cries of the broken. God the Father wants to reach down, take our hand, and walk us through our pain. It may take weeks, or years, or even a lifetime to close the wounds of our hearts completely. God will spend as much time and as many years as necessary to help us through it.
3. Reach out to others.
As God has reached out to us, so we should be an instrument of God to reach out and help others who are in pain. 2 Corinthians 1:4. Because of our own pain, we are able to understand and help in a far greater way.
Scripture tells us that Jesus suffered heartbreak after heartbreak. Isaiah 53:3-5.
He reached out to us by giving His life so that we can be healed! Can we lay our burden at His feet? Can we let Him carry our load? Can we let go and let God take care of it?
GOD CAN HEAL A BROKEN HEART, BUT WE HAVE TO GIVE HIM ALL THE PIECES.
There is never a day so dreary
But God can make it bright,
And unto the soul that trusts Him,
He giveth songs in the night.
There is never a path so hidden,
But God can lead the way,
If we seek for the Spirit’s guidance
And patiently wait and pray.
There is never a cross so heavy
But the nail-scarred hands are there
Outstretched in tender compassion
The burden to help us bear.
There is never a heart so broken,
But the loving Lord can heal,
The heart that was pierced on Calvary
Doth still for His loved ones feel.
There is never a life so darkened,
So hopeless and unblessed,
But may be filled with the light of God
And enter His promised rest.
There is never a sin or sorrow,
There is never a care or loss,
But that we may bring to Jesus
And leave at the foot of the cross.
–Lilla M. Alexander