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Devotional - week of February 17, 2008


HEART-SICK

 

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12

 

Many of us have had experiences so devastating that we described our emotional state with the words “sick at heart.” We can become sick at heart just by seeing the sad condition of others. Proverbs 13:12 declares that we can become sick at heart just by wanting something to happen which never happens.

 

This heart-sick condition can come to some who have a passionate desire to be used by the Lord. They try and try but are never fruitful in their efforts. Heart-sickness can result from failure in any area of Christian work—including evangelistic efforts.

 

We can become heart-sick through our prayer lives. We pray for things repeatedly without positive results. We hear others tell of answered prayers but we have no such experiences.

 

In John 15:4-5, Jesus speaks about those of “no fruit” and those of “much fruit.” He says:

 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

 

When a believer is passionately serving God but not abiding in the vine, the result can be heart-sickness. Jesus says that the cure for the condition is abiding in Him. But how can we do so? We will begin abiding in the vine when we begin living out our union with Christ as taught in Romans 6:3-11.

 

The last part of Proverbs 13:12 says:

 

… when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

 

We have nothing less than the promise of Jesus that if we will abide in Him, we will bear much fruit. Passionate but unfruitful servants of God are only one step away from fruitfulness and a cure for their heart-sickness—and life. If you are in that heart-sick group because of failure in your Christian life and service, why not take that step? It is only a matter of believing and choosing.