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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)

TITLE: Take the Step
By Yvette Stupart


“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5 NIV).

It is always so painful to deal with emotional, verbal, or physical abuse suffered in childhood or as adults. People struggle to let go of the pain of abuse, unable to find healing and peace to move on to satisfying lives. Stories are told of people who limp through life unable overcome the emotional pains of the past.

Without a doubt the struggle is real, and many people need help to deal with their pain. Experts in the fields of medicine and psychology continue to point out that people need to let go of the grudge and resentment that they hold, for more fulfilling lives. Even more, God wants us to enjoy abundant life (John 10:10), but this is hardly likely if we continue to hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness.

In my own journey, many times I have struggled with the pain of past hurts. But I find that when I hold on to bitterness and resentment, the hurts do not get any better. However, I am learning to let go of the pain other people cause me, and to do so quickly. Over the years, Romans 5 verse 5 became precious to me. I have meditated on it, and it has helped me to forgive others who deeply hurt me.

This is my way of safeguarding my heart. The result is that I have found peace even in situations where I felt hurt to the core of my being. I have come to accept the divine love that God pours in my heart. This healing balm is accessible to me to reassure my heart. In the same way, this love is available to spread those who hurt me.

For you, the journey to total healing from past hurts is a process which might take some time. But you can take the first step today with the simple reminder to, “guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). The fact is, where your heart goes, that is where your life will go. Take the decision today, allow God's love to change your heart. Healing begins with you; it begins with a change of heart.

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This article has been read 323 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 06/18/12
Bitterness can be so damaging. Great reminder of why it is so important to guard our hearts from it!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/20/12
This is a nice devotion. I liked the verse you chose. I also like that you shared a bit of yourself with the reader too.

I think if you are able it would make your message more powerful if you could expand on one example where your heart was hurt but God helped you through.

Be careful of switching from the third person in the beginning when you spoke about people in general. Then you switched to first person. Personally for devotions I think first person works the best. God helps us through difficult times so that we can help others. You definitely did that.

Then you went into second person where you spoke to the reader directly. In my opinion this is something to do with caution because it could easily feel like you are preaching at someone. I didn't feel that way with yours but have with others who tell the reader what to do.

You did a nice job of writing on topic while delivering an important message. It is true, even though Jesus is right next to me ready to give me all of the support I need, I have to take that first step. You did a good job.
C D Swanson 06/20/12
Beautiful devotional. This short and powerful piece serve as a great reminder to all. Thank you. God bless~
Laura Manley06/25/12
Your devotional, which was beautifully written and obviously written from the heart, made this reader pause on her own life. I too have had hurts along the paths of this thing we call life and at times, have found it extremely difficult to forgive and forget. But, in those incidences, I ask myself; if I hold on to these hurts, then who is the victor. Certainly not me! The past is the past I have been told and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. We need to focus on the present and look forward to the present. There are a couple places where you dropped a word in a sentence, but that did not take away from the impact of your entry. Nice writing!