First Aid for Bruised Hearts
Love. It’s what we all want. To be loved is the most amazing thing that can happen to you. But sometimes everything goes wrong — love hurts us and we’re left holding bruised hearts in our hands. Where do we go from here?
Wanting to be loved is part of what it means to be human. We’re all looking for love, but not just any love – unconditional love, pure love. Do you wonder if anyone can love you as you truly are? Why is pure love so hard to find? Maybe it’s because we keep looking in all the wrong places.
- Maybe you have looked for love in your family. You have tried your whole life to please them and make them happy. But it was never enough.
- Maybe you have looked for love in a physical relationship. You tell yourself, “If I share my body, I will feel loved.” But you never do.
- Maybe you have looked for love in popularity. “If everyone knows me, then I will feel loved and accepted.” But that’s a game you can’t always win, and when you do, you are still lonely.
Where can you go to feel completely accepted? Where can you look to find unconditional love?
There is only one place where love never disappoints. The picture of pure love is found in God. Godis love. But how can you know God loves you? How can you see it?
Through Jesus Christ, we see love at its purest. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The picture of pure, passionate love is caught in the frame of Jesus loving you while hanging on the cross.
God made His love visible in Christ. And Jesus showed that love is measured not merely by feelings, but by sacrifice.
How can you know pure love? Imagine asking Jesus, “How much do you love me?” He would stretch out His arms, with His nail-pierced hands, and say, “This much.”
You can experience His pure love.
Experience complete forgiveness
Guilt. Do you live with guilt? Have you done something you feel ashamed of? Do you have a secret that is eating at your soul? Guilt is a horrible thing to live with. How do you stop living with guilt? Why is guilt so hard to get rid of?
- Maybe you have tried burying your guilt in denial. You can’t live with it, so you deny it. But it keeps coming back – it won’t go away.
- Maybe you have tried covering your guilt under a pile of good deeds. You can’t live with it, so you try to make up for it. But it is never enough.
You can’t deny it or make up for it. So how do you get free from your guilt? Can anyone help?
It just may be that you feel guilt because you are guilty. But you can get rid of your guilt by experiencing the complete forgiveness of your guiltiness. God wants to forgive you. No one is too bad that God can’t forgive them. And no one is too good that they don’t need forgiveness.
Jesus gives complete forgiveness. Even while He was being beaten and crucified, Jesus said, ” Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Did you ever wonder why Jesus had to be beaten so badly? Why did He have to suffer so much?
Your sin and guiltiness had to be punished and paid for. That’s how serious God is about your guilt. Jesus was brutally beaten and killed because that is what it took for us to be forgiven of our sins. It was an enormous cost that He was willing to pay for you.
Ask to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift that Jesus freely extends to you – but you must accept it for it to be yours.
You can experience complete forgiveness.
Broken. Have you experienced a broken promise, a broken dream, a broken relationship, or a broken heart? Does your life seem broken? Do you feel like Humpty – Dumpty? Why can’t you put the pieces of your life back together again?
- Maybe you have learned not to trust anyone. You have been let down or betrayed by broken promises, so you’re skeptical of everyone. But now you are doing life injured and alone.
- Maybe you have stopped dreaming. You think, “I can’t believe this is my life.” The excitement you had for the future is gone.
- Maybe you have promised yourself to never let anyone get close enough to hurt you. You keep people far away from your heart so you won’t feel pain. But now you have also lost love.
How can you be put back together? Where can you turn to experience ultimate wholeness?
Jesus came to do more than forgive you of your sin. He also came to make you whole. Jesus’ forgiveness shows that He loves you as you are. Jesus’ healing shows He loves you too much to leave you as you are. He wants to make you whole.
You might know people who are completely devoted to Jesus. They love Jesus not just because He forgave them. They love and follow Jesus because He took the broken pieces of their lives and gave them the peace of His life. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Jesus came to be the forgiver of your soul and the leader of your life. He can put your life back together. He can help you trust, dream, and love again without fear. He will take your hole-hearted life and turn it into wholehearted passion.
You can experience ultimate wholeness.
Experience everlasing life
Goodbye. The word can get stuck in your throat. Have you had to say goodbye to someone you love? Have you buried someone who was near to your heart? Was someone missing at Christmas? Goodbye. There is nothing good about it. When people die, how do you cope with the final goodbyes?
- Maybe you cope by crossing your fingers and hoping. But do you really have any confidence that you will see them and know them in the next life?
- Maybe you cope by believing in reincarnation. But what hope does it bring, knowing reincarnation may not bring reunion, and they will only die again?
- Maybe you cope by giving up hope. You believe that this life is the end, and eventually you will have to say goodbye forever to everyone you love.
Could there be a better way? Is there a more reliable cross than crossed fingers? Is there a resurrected life instead of just a reincarnated one?
Is there reason to hope and not just cope?
The life Jesus doesn’t end with him in the grave. Instead He is resurrected – glorious and flawless – never to die again. Jesus can do that for us too.
Years after Jesus was raised from the dead, His friend John saw Him. John wrote : “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said; ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades’ “ (Revelation 1:17-18).
Confident hope for eternal life is only found in the One who died and came back from the dead-Jesus. Now He holds the keys of death and can raise you-and those you love-from the dead too! Because of Jesus, our “goodbyes” can be changed to “See you again!”
You can experience everlasting life.
Jesus is knocking at your heart’s door. He is extending an invitation to you to open your heart and let Him come in. You can open your heart and experience Pure Love, Complete Forgiveness, Absolute Wholeness, and Everlasting Life.
Pray. “God, thank you for what You have done for me. I believe You sent Jesus to die for my sins instead of me. I believe Jesus rose again to give me everlasting life. Please forgive me for the wrong things I have done. Please give me a new and clean heart. I invite you into my life. Teach me to do everything You want me to do and to follow You all the days of my life. I pray this believing in what Jesus did for me. Amen.”