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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How God Changed My Unfeeling Heart

Stone Heart from everystockphoto by Felix Francis

Full of Fear

To avoid future strokes, I’m going to have a small hole in my heart closed up.

It’s not open-heart surgery; they go through a blood vessel in my leg.  But still, there’s risks, and Monday (once again) I was full of fear that the procedure would go terribly wrong.

I know there’s no reason to fear, because God is in control, and whatever he chooses to have happen will bring me more joy in his glory forever (2 Corinthians 4:17).

But to have this promise remove fear, I need to be desiring God’s glory more than a problem-free procedure, more than earthly life, more than anything.

But sadly, Monday I had little desire for God’s glory.  Which was why I felt fear.

Unfeeling Heart

I had gone out to the creek near our house to pray.  I had been battling fear by praying over 2 Corinthians 4:17 — that whatever happens will bring me more joy in God’s glory forever.

But even though I was earnestly praying, the fear remained.  So I tried praying some other verses about fear, like Isaiah 41:10, and Psalm 56:3-4.  But no change.

And then, like I said, I saw the problem.  What frees us from fear is (1) knowing that God will only allow trials that bring us more of his glory , and (2) loving and desiring and wanting his glory more than anything.

But I did not want his glory more than anything.  I had little desire for God’s glory.  My heart was unfeeling.

What to Do?

It was sobering to see the state of my heart.  But God brought to mind Scriptures that gave me hope that God could change my heart.  Scriptures like —

“I dwell … with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15)

And —

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.” (Psalm 19:7)

 And —

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

To the Word

So, in a fresh way, I turned to God through Jesus Christ.  I trusted him to forgive me, change me, help me.

I confessed my unbelief and hardness of heart, and asked him to use his Word to revive my soul and strengthen my faith.

Then I started praying through the next memory verses in my packet, and other Scriptures that God brought to mind.  To the best of my recollection, here are the Scriptures I found helpful —

Jeremiah 24:7 —

I will give them a heart to know me, for I am the LORD. (New American Standard Version)

That strengthened my faith that God has the power to change my heart so I desire him more than anything.

Daniel 7:14 — 

And to [the Son of Man — Jesus] was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

That helped me see the glory of Christ, Savior of men and women from every nation, tongue, and tribe, who will be worshiped by the redeemed forever and ever and ever.

2 Corinthians 9:8 —

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

That helped me see that whatever happens, God will give me all the grace I need to be faithful to him, rejoice in him, glorify him.

What Happened

As I prayed over these and other Scriptures, I could tell that my heart was changing.

I don’t want to overstate it.  I have had times when I felt Christ’s glory more intensely.

But God did change my heart.  I saw, and loved, the glory of Christ.  I trusted him.  Worshiped him.

I knew he loved me, and that whatever he chose to do, he would give me all the grace I needed to experience all the joy in him he promised.

As a result, the fear was gone, replaced by peace, and strength, in him.

Don’t Settle

God is a deeply-loving, perfectly-wise, and all-powerful heart-specialist.  So don’t settle for an unfeeling heart.

Bring your heart to him, by means of the Word and prayer.  He will revive you.

He promises.

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(Picture is from everystockphoto.com by Felix Francis.)

Category: Stories from My Life

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10 Responses

  1. Bill Schuler says:

    Yep! Alright,and amen amen! Bless you brother!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Steve, one scripture that God used to encourage you that he could change your heart was: “I dwell … with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15) what if I need my heart changed to BE contrite and lowly and to see Him rightly as kind and merciful, instead of feeling bitter that evil exists/about things too deep for me? Will he resist me in my pride, or is there a reason I could expect him to change my heart to help me trust and love him and desire him?

  3. Kathryn says:

    I feel so condemned when I read scripture; like I’m numbered with the wicked and my mind has been so confirmed to the world. How do I have my mind renewed by the Spirit when it feels like my mind scoffs at truth? How do I stop that and see myself as God’s and that as so good?

  4. Kathryn says:

    So sorry for so many posts on here, but I saw in another post that you said faith may not be changing us if we have sin we’re unwilling to let go of. How do we become willing? I am so fearful of being set apart/confessing Christ publicly/being baptized. I know this is all pride. I know my accusations against The Lord are all pride. Is there a way to see Jesus as better and satisfyibg and worth any discomfort and lack of understanding when your pride is blinding you?

  5. Amy says:

    19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;
    20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20

  6. G.K. Sexton says:

    Kathryn,
    I suspect that simply having an interest in your very timely questions is an indicator that Something Christ-glorifying is already happening in your heart and life. Take a look at the travelers in Luke 24 for companions in the Way.

    Under His mercy with you,
    G.K. Sexton

  7. Jon Panner says:

    Hi Steve,
    I just listened online to a Q&A with John Piper and students at WTS. At the end he made kind and deeply honoring remarks about your father. I know you are aware of how your father instructed and mentored Dr. Piper, but his comments I think will encourage you that God works through frail vessels. I hope you and your family are well.
    All blessings,
    Jon

  8. Dominac says:

    I need help so bad I’m so evil and have so much pride and no heart but I can’t seem to be real in my prayer when I pray it’s like I go back and repeat the same things over and over and I have hurt people really bad and I’m real selfish, I wish I could die and be reborn over and brought up better because this evil has been in me so long that I don’t think I can change and I don’t want to go to he’ll, I wish there wasn’t a hell I wish that when we die that god would work on US one on one to get us better, please pray for me because I am doomed, I only think about myself and I kill people soul with my words. Please please pray for me hard it’s going to take God to work with me hands on in person to change I wish I could see him and talk to him.

  9. Rhya says:

    Dominac & Kathryn

    Check this page out; http://www.awmi.net/reading/teaching-articles/hardness_heart/

    He also created 4 free audio mp3s to really explain what it is,how it happens, and how you can fix it.

    I hope this page and its contents blesses you the same way it has blessed me. ?

    God loves you and take care!

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