Jesus was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He was in all points tempted like as we are. He endured the ultimate betrayal, rejection and abandonment; he had his heart broken. When it comes to broken hearts he endured the worst of it, and he knows how to deliver us when we suffer the same.
God has always addressed broken heartedness.
Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Jesus at the opening of his public ministry declared, by quoting a verse from Isaiah, why he had the spirit of the Lord upon him.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Jesus was sent to heal the brokenhearted. So, if your heart feels broken and out of your control take solace—help has arrived. Deliverance is available.
We all know it hurts to have our hearts broken, and now there is scientific data to back up what we already know to be true from God’s Word. Recent research from the University of California, Los Angeles, indicates that emotional pain may be more closely linked to physical pain than scientists previously realized. According to Naomi Eisenberger, lead author of the study, the distress from rejection registers in the same part of the brain that responds to physical pain, triggering similar sensations to, say, a broken arm. Which is just affirmation of what we’ve known all along: heartbreak hurts.
If you’ve had any prolonged exposure to other human beings, chances are pretty good that somewhere along the way you’ve had your heart broken. If not, hang on you’re a member of the human race and it may come soon enough. Maybe someone who promised to stick with you left with little warning. Maybe a close friend betrayed your trust or let you down when you needed her most. Or maybe you have that awful feeling in your gut that the person you love just doesn’t love you back.
When our hearts are broken, we limp along, wondering how we ended up here and if we’ll ever make it to the other side of the pain. Perhaps worst of all, we feel utterly and helplessly alone.
But what I’ve been noticing lately in Scripture is that we aren’t alone in this. Jesus himself knows what it is to have his heart broken. He’s fully engaged with us, pouring out his love and beckoning us to come to him for rest and refreshing. He opened his heart to profound love and therefore profound heartache. He’s been there and knows how to help us through it. So when we endure these heartbreaks ourselves—rejection, betrayal, abandonment—we don’t walk through them alone. Jesus has walked that road himself, and in some mysterious way, when our hearts are broken, we’re given new insight into the very character of our lord and savior.
Let’s read Isaiah 61 from which Jesus read and applied to himself and pay particular attention to the complete turn around God provides.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Jesus came “to comfort all that mourn. . . to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” No matter how heavy we feel and how brokenhearted we are, God has the answers and Jesus has shown us how to endure the hurt so we can revel in the joy set before us. [Part II next week.]
By Wayne Clapp