Read Jeremiah 17
Focus on verse 9
When we use the term heartsick we are typically not describing a physical illness but rather something closer to an emotional ache. While we rationally understand that our physical heart is simply a complex muscle that pumps blood through our veins and keeps us alive, we often us the same word “heart” to describe the center of our being. One might think of it as the place in our consciousness from which our character and personality springs. In the medical sense this kind of processing more likely takes place in the brain, but in our culture the heart continues to be used to describe this place.
It is this usage of the word heart that God is referencing in today’s reading in Jeremiah. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (v. 9) The implication here is that we ourselves often are incapable of being genuinely honest about our deepest motivations. In the following verse God declares that He alone is able to determine the deepest motives of our heart, and He promises to reward each one according to the fruit of his (or her) deeds. (v. 10)
This would be a frightening proposition to me if it were not for my knowledge of God’s grace and redemption through my relationship with Jesus Christ. If it were not for the death and resurrection of Jesus, we would all be officially screwed over! There would be no hope of anything beyond this life other than eternal suffering in a horrible place the Bible calls hell, which God created for the devil and his minions.
Imagine the relief it is to understand that because of what Jesus did for us, our desperately sick hearts can be healed and made whole. This is wonderful news, but it does require that we make the choice to accept it as true. Eternal life with God is truly a free gift, but like any gift – it must be accepted.