Originally published Monday, 28 June 2021.
The most popular video on my YouTube channel is called “God’s Promise for a Broken Heart.” I created that video as part of a Bible study series through the book of Psalms, not knowing that it would resonate with so many people. No matter how different we are, chances are if you have a heart, at one point in your life, it has or will be broken. Maybe someone you loved betrayed you. Maybe you were rejected. Maybe you lost love in one way or another.
Either way, when your heart is broken, it often feels like it can never be repaired. The pain, hurt and anguish may be so deep you’re tempted to think you’ll never be happy again and you will be forced to make it through the rest of your life with this heavy burden of carrying your heart around in a million pieces.
I can tell you that although things may not be the same, we do serve a God who is a healer and is in the business of restoring that which is broken and making it into something beautiful.
So in today’s video, I’m sharing 7 ways God heals a broken heart that you may find wholeness and joy once again.
7 WAYS GOD HEALS A BROKEN HEART
The first way God heals a broken heart is with truthful vulnerability. When I say the truth, I mean our ability to admit to God that we are hurting and broken in the first place. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, we are encouraged to cast our cares on God. The verses read:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)
Why is pouring out our hearts to God and casting our cares on Him important to our healing heart? Because healing can’t occur if we can’t admit that healing needs to happen in the first place.
Be it because of shame, pride, or guilt, we face the temptation when our hearts are broken to deny our brokenness. In an effort to appear strong, we may act like we’re not weak. We avoid vulnerability to protect ourselves from further hurt. But acting like we don’t need to be healed is not healing. We don’t have to be strong in front of God, but we can be honest about our hurt and brokenness with Him because a hard heart is not a healed heart.
The gift that God grants us in our relationship with Him is the ability to be honest with ourselves and Him. We can lay all our broken pieces at His altar and allow Him into the most fragile parts of our hearts. Jesus tells us it’s the truth that will set us free (John 8:32) and 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that love rejoices in the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
No matter how bad the situation that caused our broken heart, we can honestly take it to God knowing He can handle it with love, grace and gentleness.
The second way God heals a broken heart is with forgiveness. God grants us the power to forgive those who caused our brokenness. Now you may be wondering: how can letting that person off the hook help me heal? We have to remember that forgiveness is not for the other person, but for you. Forgiveness helps you to let go of the offense so you can heal and carry on with your life. Unforgiveness on the other hand, breeds bitterness, resentment, and prolonged anger that only further harms us. We can find the courage to forgive when we keep a few things in mind:
- God called us to forgive just as we have been forgiven. (Ephesians 4:32) It is God's desire that we remember we too need forgiving and extend that same grace.
- God will fight our battles for us. (Romans 12:19) It’s better to allow God’s justice to prevail than to seek out our own revenge.
- Forgiveness is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but something we experience as we seek God for strength and power.
- Sometimes the forgiveness we need to extend is not to another person, but to ourselves and God’s grace is available for that too.
The third way God heals a broken heart is through gratitude. Bitterness can cause us to miss how God is blessing us even in the midst of a broken heart. I think of Naomi in the book of Ruth who traveled from Moab to Israel when her husband and sons died. When Naomi arrives in Israel, she told everyone not to call her Naomi anymore but to call her Mara which means bitter because, in her words:
She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the LORD has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” (Ruth 1:20-21 ESV)
In her bitterness, Naomi failed to realize that God blesses her with a faithful daughter in law Ruth who stayed by her side (she was not alone), it was harvest season when she arrived in Israel (she was not hungry), she had a home to go back to, (She was not lost) and God had a plan even when she couldn’t see it yet (Her God was still faithful). If you’ve read the book of Ruth, you know the Lord miraculously provides for Naomi and Ruth, even in their heartbreak.
I know it’s hard to look on the bright side when everything feels dark. When our hearts are broken, it’s easy for jealousy, resentment, bitterness and defensiveness to fester. But when we take time to pause and really see how God was and is moving and protecting us, even in our heartbreak, we can move our hearts towards gratitude. We can slowly take our focus off the pain alone and see God’s love and goodness to begin healing.
The fourth way God heals a broken heart is with love. Many times, our broken hearts come from a love lost. As much as that may hurt, we can’t forget that although we may lose the love of people, we will never lose the love of God, and that is something we should cherish and never take for granted. God is not like man. (Number 23:19) He keeps His promises, He’s faithful, and He’s beyond patient, forgiving, kind and gentle. It’s Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross that proves God’s love for us. We are loved and there is nothing anyone can do or say to ever take that away.
The fifth way God heals a broken heart is with purpose. When our hearts are broken, life can feel like a waste. We may think what good is it when we’re experiencing so much pain. But we must remember that God can turn our brokenness into beauty and our pain into purpose. Not only can God heal us, He often then uses our testimony to help others. You are not the only one who is experiencing this type of heartache and you won’t be the last. When we trust God to bring us to healing and wholeness, we become a beacon of hope to others navigating the same dark season that they too can make it out. I’m not going to pretend to know why God has you going through a particular heartbreak, but I do know that when we lean into Him for healing, He has the power to turn any situation around for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28) because His Word says so, and His Word is always true.
The sixth way God heals a broken heart is with His presence.
Psalm 34:18 tells us:
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34: 18 ESV)
We are so blessed to serve a God that walks with us through our valleys. Because Chrst knows suffering to the fullest, He completely empathizes with our pain. (Hebrews 4:15) No matter how heartbroken we are, we are never alone. In fact, it is the heartbroken who God is near to. When we can quiet our souls and really pay attention, we can find healing in knowing God is always with us and He will never leave us. The more we make much of God in our hearts and believe that His presence is more than enough, we find hope despite anything we may have lost on this side of eternity.
The seventh and final way God heals a broken heart is with hope. Hope reminds us it won’t be like this forever. Roman 15:13 encourages us:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13 ESV)
Hope gives us the will to keep walking in the dark until we find the light, because we believe there is light at the end of this tunnel, even if we can’t see or feel it right now. Hope helps us not to stay stuck, but gives us reason unseen to believe the best and keep walking towards the light. And God is that light for us. He gives us reason to wake up in the morning and to continue to believe for the best. If God has given you breath today, you have hope for tomorrow because that means He’s not finished with you.
Now I’d love to hear from you, Beloved. How has God helped to heal your broken heart? Let's lift one another up in the comments.
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As always, thank you so much for watching and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and be loved.
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.