The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” ESV Jeremiah 17:9-10
We think too highly of ourselves. We think of our hearts as basically good and positive, and we think of ourselves as generous and kind. However, Jeremiah reminds us that ultimately our hearts are desperately sick, and we often deceive even ourselves. In reality our hearts are like the broken, dead leaf in the picture above. We are self-centered, self-worshiping, self-idolizing people. We may not like this description, but it’s ultimately true.
In the following verse, God explains His role. He ultimately searches our hearts and tests our minds. In doing so, He gives to us according to our deeds, which generally means His justice demands He repay us with suffering and judgment. However, in Christ Jesus we have hope. In Christ, we have a new heart, and the Spirit of Christ indwells us. When God looks at our broken heart, He sees the light of Christ shining through (that is, if we have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus His Son through faith alone). When God looks at us, He is able to give to us according to the fruit of Jesus’ work for us. All the good of Jesus is credited to our hearts, because His light shines through us.
May you be encouraged in this way today. Yes, our hearts are deceitful and desperately sick…so sick we can’t even know them. But, through faith in Jesus Christ, His love shines in our hearts. God sees this, and rewards us with His grace. May our hearts radiate Jesus’ light and life to others. Be encouraged my friend!