“Hearts are broken in ten thousand ways, for this is a heart-breaking world.” Charles H. Spurgeon
Few can travel through the path of life without heartbreak. Spurgeon was right. We are journeying through a heart-breaking world.
The death of an infant shatters the heart of a young mum or dad. Many never recover from the grief. Mental illness strikes a son or daughter, demolishing life’s hopes and dreams. Newlyweds are never prepared to walk alone with the sudden death of a spouse. Teens or young adults that forsake their faith leave a ragged tear of deep disappointment in parents’ hearts. Siblings die, taken early in life, leaving wounded sisters and brothers.
Husbands and wives abandon their marriage vows, leaving a spouse and children deeply hurt, even bitter. Parents abandon their children.
In the past few weeks, a teenage boy shared with me that his mother abandoned him in a motel room at the vulnerable age of three. He has been in and out of foster homes since then. For two years, he lived in a dumpster. He introduced himself to me as someone who didn’t believe in God.
Another youth informed me he was born in a state prison, his mum a convicted felon. They yearn for explanations. “Why did God allow this to happen to me? Why did God allow my father or mother or both parents to abandon me?”
Injuries or deaths sustained in collisions or in time of war can cripple bodies and crush plans for tomorrow. Loved ones remain stubbornly outside of Christ’s Kingdom.
Hearts are broken in 10,000 ways. A popular song suggests we have 10,000 reasons to praise God. We really do. No question. But it also seems to be true that there are 10,000 reasons to question Him. Trials remain unsolved or unexplained, lingering way too long.
Many of the heartbreaks will not be solved in this life. That is not what you wanted to read, perhaps. But the reality of passing through this brief life is that some of today’s trials can only be solved by tomorrow’s resurrection.
It was true of Jesus. He endured trials and disappointments because of the hope of His resurrection. But He wasn’t stoic about it. The trial of massive rejection and unjust death by the human race was met with complaint and only solved by His resurrection. There was no other solution.
Life is Not a Movie
Some of you have learned that lesson already. The hope of tomorrow sustains you. Hope gives you the energy to keep traveling the road of faith. You are an example to all of us. But for others, there is an expectation that all of life’s trials and disappointments will be solved in this life. Life, it seems, should be like a movie. All of our problems are expected to be solved within a reasonable time frame. When troubles linger, disappointment can set in. When trials remain unsolved, disillusionment and bitterness can derail our journey with Jesus. We may end up in a deep ditch of depression, anger, or with a shattered heart. But life is not a movie. And this life is only the beginning chapter in our story.
The Psalms: Biography of a Future King
The Psalms can help us develop robust hope, a confident expectation of tomorrow because they have a forward lean to them. Hope generates the energy required to remain faithful, to be resilient, and to help others whose experiences of heartbreak have shoved them off the bumpy road of faith.
The Psalms: One Large Family
The Psalms are all cousins of one another. The Psalms are a large extended family, connected by a single, dominant theme.
Or, for an analogy our younger folks might understand, the Psalms are like one giant toy, made up of many small Lego blocks. That giant Lego toy, the Psalter, is an extended biography of a future king, a royal figure, who was promised a throne in glory, but who experienced multiple disappointments on the long journey to that position of honor.
Psalms 20-24: Story of Hope through Resurrection
Psalms 20-24 contain one story of God’s promises of salvation made to a king, his disappointments and complaints about those unfulfilled promises, his death, resurrection, and his ascension to reign in glory.
Did you observe a familiar pattern? That familiar pattern is not accidental or gratuitous. Undoubtedly, this is one of the sections of the Psalms that Jesus used to show the discouraged travelers on the Emmaus Road that the Messianic King (Jesus Himself) had to suffer first before entering His glory. Psalms 20-24 fit that pattern perfectly. The heartbreaks of Jesus’ life were only solved by His resurrection.
Good Friday and Resurrection Morning
On Good Friday, March 30, 2018, I will be expounding Psalm 22, quoted by Jesus just prior to His death on the cross both in Matthew and Mark. Psalm 22 is also cited in John’s Gospel and the book of Hebrews. And, of course, Psalm 23 is connected to Psalm 22 with multiple threads, picking up where Psalm 22 left off. I’ll be expounding Psalm 23 on Resurrection Sunday, April 1, 2018. Psalm 23 is the personal testimony of Jesus in response to His heartbreak in Psalm 22.
Taken together, Psalms 22 and 23 foster genuine hope for heart-broken people based on the experiences of Jesus Christ. Hope strengthens our faltering steps of faith, boosting our resilience to patiently endure the heartbreaks of this heart-breaking world. Hope also equips us to help others whose faith has been derailed by the disappointments of life. Hope confidently looks forward to resurrection morning. Hope says, "it will be worth it all when we see Jesus." Life’s trials will seem so small.
“Hearts are broken in ten thousand ways, for this is a heart-breaking world. And Christ is good at healing all manner of heartbreaks.” Spurgeon
Hope to see you. Bring your discouraged, angry, and heart-broken friends.
Thank you for reading.