Healing the brokenhearted


“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives … Isaiah 61:1

In Isaiah, there is a prophecy of the Lord’s Messiah who will bring good news to the poor. God promised that he would send his anointed one to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty to the captives. A broken heart is a terrible burden, and healing is available from our loving Father, through Jesus the son.

Our hearts break when people and events don’t live up to our expectations. They may break when a cherished relationship ends – whether through death or betrayal. Everyone’s heart has been broken. Divorce in the family, abuse, romantic breakups, mockery, betrayal — they all shatter our sense of ourselves, our place, and the fairness of our world. A broken heart leads to all kinds of pathologies, as we try to mask the pain. A shattered heart fosters a sense of loneliness and rejection. It can lead to physical illness or mental disturbances, even anxiety and depression, addiction and compulsions. Everyone suffers, and hurt people often hurt people, leaving broken hearts in their wake; thus the cycle continues. Untreated, the woundedness of a broken heart can lead to alienation from God, from ourselves and from others.

We are blessed in that healing the brokenness which leads to oppression is in Jesus’ job description as Messiah. In Luke 4, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61 and says, “Today, this is fulfilled in your hearing.” God has great concern for those whose hearts have been broken, as we read in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted. He saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus calls, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This invitation is extended to all who are in need of healing and restoration.

How do we access the healing balm of the Lord? Recognize your need of Him, and that no one else has the answer. Repent of any sin you took part in, including taking responsibility where you had none (e.g. a child feeling responsible for parents’ divorce). Forgive any others who were involved. Present your heart and the situation as a sacrifice to Him. Be still, and know that He is God. Trust in His goodness.

Jesus embodies the love and compassion of God, and as such, he is able to bring hope and healing to those who are suffering. He wants to heal, and even identifies himself as a healer, that is, the Great Physician. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you; let him take your wounded heart, and bind it. Our hearts have likely been broken more than once. He is able to carry all those burdens, if we release them and take on his easy yoke. Then we can be set free from the shackles of a broken heart and learn to walk in liberty.

Terri Starcher attends Church of the Messiah in Xenia, is on the worship team, and teaches in various formats.

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