Is My Heart Hard? (Psalm 95:8-9)



What is it to have a harden heart?  Is it a hardened heart that struggles with faith?  Is a hardened heart one that has doubt?  Thankfully, the answer to these questions is, No.

Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. (Psalms 95:8-9)

A hardened heart is not a heart of doubt, because doubt is something that each of us face when we experience a trial.  A trial creates unrest in the believer and the circumstances present a message of doom to their heart.  In contrast, God, through his word and the working of the Holy Spirit, will speak a different message: one of hope and deliverance.  It is then, that the heart struggles to determine which message to believe.  Through faith, the believer trusts the Lord and experiences hope and eventually victory.  The believer’s problem was not doubt, because doubt is always present when there is faith.  It is faith that overcomes doubt.  So, a hardened heart is not one that has doubt.

What is a hardened heart?  A hardened heart is one that refuses to believe God. It looks at the circumstances and refuses to allow God to move him.  They aren’t doubting God, but rather they are fighting him. It is not that they are afraid, but instead are refusing to trust and are resisting any work that he tries to do.

So as you face a trial, it is okay to be afraid.  However, it is never right to fight and resist God.

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How Can This Be True? (Proverbs 12:21)



At first glance, this passage seems to indicate that evil events will not happen to just people.  From my own personal testimony, I can give countless examples of how people did evil to me or evil events came into my life.  As I quickly surveyed just people in general, I spanned evil happening to just people from the Apostles martyrdoms to present day when people have lost loved ones due to sin, crime and injustice.  How can this verse be true?

Many times in Scripture and in particular passages in Proverbs, the complete truth can be determined by reading the text in context or as in the middle chapters of Proverbs, read the latter portion of the verse.

There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. (Proverbs 12:21)

The passage is providing for us the promise that as just people live their lives and make decisions, they will not fall into evil or as the latter part of the verse says, mischief.  Those who walk with the Lord, will be guided by the same as they live their lives.  They will not be allowed to stumble and stagger in darkness, but will have the light of his presence and scripture to light their path and to guide their footsteps.

So if I want to be free from falling into evil, I must walk with the Lord, allow him to inspect my life and removed that which is not just, seek his face as decisions must be made and rejoice in the promise of his goodness and protection.

Can’t You See? (Psalm 119:18)



Open your eyes!  Can’t you see?  These are common phrases that we use when we speak to people as they struggle either to see something physically in front of them or to recognize a truth or principle.

What stops people from being able to see?  It isn’t always their eyes.  Sometimes people can’t see something because they are focusing in the wrong direction or their ability to see is blocked.

“Open thou mine eyes”, means to denude the eyes.  The psalmist is asking God to remove from his eyes what is causing him not to see things from his law.  

If you can’t see what God is doing in your life, ask him to make your eyes nude or completely uncovered.  Hurt, sorrow, fear, bitterness, confusion and worry can block your spiritual eye sight.  We cannot remove what causes these emotions, but God can strip them from our eyes and show us truth that we need to gain victory.

No Sign (Matthew 12:39)



There is a difference between seeking direction and desiring a sign as proof before believing.  Probably one of the most noted individuals who sought a sign for direction was Gideon.  Gideon sought a sign out of cautiousness and not unbelief.  Had that not been the case, he would have been rebuke by the Lord.

An adulterous generation seeks a sign because their heart has affinity to another.  Their request for a sign is more out of not wanting to change than it is for desiring the truth.  Their prideful heart digs in becoming unmovable.

This attitude is understandable for the lost, but the saddest of testimonies for the saved.

Doubt and Pride (Luke 7:1-10)

When we approach God in prayer, we could come with one of two attitudes.  We either believe that God is the hope for our cause and that because of our devotion to him, we should expect our prayer to be answered or we are unsure of his response because we see ourselves as unworthy.  

Both extremes are incorrect.  Many times because we feel unworthy, our faith is diminished hindering God from responding and answering our prayers.  Have you ever met someone who felt that they had sinned too much and could not be saved?  However, there are other occasions when people feel that because they have abstained from sinful actions and live a separated life for God that they are more likely to be heard.  In all truth, there is not one person who ever lived righteously enough to deserve an answer to prayer.

When we start thinking that we deserve something from God, we move from humble created being to proud mimic of Lucifer.  The ugliness of pride can creep into our lives without us even knowing it and when it does, it is subtle and usually undetected.  The heart is still deceitful above all things.

Have you ever been bothered because God did not answer a prayer.  If you have, it was because of pride.  Will God answer prayer? Yes!  Will it ever be based on our worthiness?  No! but remember, there are two things that hinder faith: doubt and pride.

Truth and Hard Hearts (Mark 3:5)

It is not unbelief that angers The Lord, but a hard heart.  A person hardens their heart by resisting truth that is brought to it.  The person recognizes the truth and resists it so that it will not change them.  People who harden their hearts keep themselves from receiving the workings of God and his grace in their hearts.  They aren’t confused and they aren’t struggling to accept or understand truth.  They create a fortress of their heart and will not allow God or his truth to enter.

I Am Tired of Prayers Not Being Answered (Genesis 24:12-19)

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Many times we face difficulties and seek God’s face for deliverance. At times, our prayers are for God to perform a work in a person so that their actions will bring about a change to the circumstances in our lives. Such an example is found in the life of Abraham’s servant as he seeks a wife for Isaac. He prays that she will make a particular offer to his request?

And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. (Genesis 24:12-14, 18-19)

Does this sound like something you have prayed for in the past? If so, you may have ended up disappointed like I have? Oh, there were times when my prayer was answered specifically, but more so than not, the request made never came to pass? What is so troubling about this is that it worked for Abraham’s servant and even in the past for me? But why not every time?

It is from situations like these that the faith of God’s people begins to weaken? When our prayers go unanswered, we push through the doubt and hold on to faith only to see our hopes dashed again as we pray for God to work in the will of others. When our prayers again yield no results, our faith becomes even weaker. If prayers like this continue, it only will be a matter of time before our hearts become greatly wounded from God’s apparent lack of intervention. We soon will become indifferent, eventually frustrated and even angry with God. Why did he fail us? Why didn’t he answer our prayers and work in the hearts of others and make them do what we requested? He did in the past: why not now?

Imagine a family broken by drunkenness. The remnant of the family prays for the wayward family member. Their prayer is that the drunken father would visit his children on their birthday. The day comes and goes and no visit. A holiday approaches and the family members again pray for the father to visit, but instead he wallows in his drunkenness. Disappointment looms in the hearts of those praying. How many times do prayers such as these need to go unanswered before unbelief, anger and bitterness begin to fill their hearts? Again the question is asked, “He answered prayers like this in the past, why not now?

The truth is, he never really did answer such type prayers in the past. Let’s take another look at the servant’s prayer and see it from a different perspective. When he asked for the bride he should choose to provide him drink and also offer to water his camels, could his prayer request have been the result of God leading him to choose his words according to what God already knew would happen and from that interaction indicate who would be the future wife of Isaac? God knew the character of Rebekah and that her servant heart would offer to meet the needs of those with whom she interacted. God also knew that he wanted Isaac to marry Rebekah? So in order to indicate to Abraham’s servant the woman to choose, God, by his spirit, led him to pray according to his foreknowledge. In short, when he prayed as God wanted him to pray, his prayers were answered.

It continues to work like that today. Consider these two familiar passages of scripture on prayer. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7). And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (1 John 5:14). What each of these verses have in common is that the person asking or praying is in harmony with God. When we are abiding, God is working his will through us and when we ask according to his will, we are guaranteed to receive what we ask.

So instead of praying for what we want, we should yield ourselves to God and ask him to guide us to pray as he wants. We may find ourselves praying in ways and for things beyond what we would have imagined. Consider again the broken family and their desire for a united family. God may lead them to pray for people with truth to come into the wayward’s life so that their heart may become softened. They may begin praying for grace and strength to deal with their hurt instead of the hurt being removed. God may lead them to pray for others who are experiencing similar hurt and for their consolation. Each of the latter prayers can be answered without God superseding man’s free will.

We must recognize that prayer is not a tool for us to use to gain our will or desire, but a manner by which we are to gain from God what we need to live our lives for him. Before you pray, ask God to guide you to pray according to his will. You will experience more answered prayers and gain exactly what you need to endure the trials that you will face.