Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

How Repentance Heals the Broken Heart

  • Jan Coates with Rebekah Montgomery Crosswalk.com Contributors
  • 2011 28 Jul
How Repentance Heals the Broken Heart

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts" (Psalm 139:23)

Technology allows doctors to perform surgical miracles, including replacing a heart valve. However, science still can't detect a broken heart. Doctors may dismiss the pain as “all in your head.”

But we know better, don't we?

The Great Physician intimately understands pain. He knows what causes broken hearts. He alone offers a cure.

A Broken Heart Beats With Fear

Fear of death--especially of going to hell.

Fear of being unlovable.

Fear of more hurt and abuse.

Fear of being unworthy of God's love. And unforgivable.

Past experiences can make you Satan’s perfect target for deception—complete with distorted thinking, bitterness, anger, distrust—and fear.

And the fear is justified. Based on the Scriptures, we are hell-deserving sinners:

Sin is an offense against God. (Psalm 51:4)

Sin is failure to reach God's perfect standard. (Romans 3:23)

Sin is failure to obey God's law. (1 John 3:4)  

Sin is failure to do the good we know we should do. (James 4:17)

But Christ paid the debt for sin through his death on the cross. When we trust Jesus, fear is replaced with love and confidence. His forgiveness is continual. He stands ready with open arms—no sin too big or too small to forgive. He obliterates our pasts.

We need God's forgiveness to remove guilt and shame so we can move forward to healing.

True Repentance Comforts and Heals

True repentance leads a person to say, "I have sinned" and prove it with a 180-degree change of their direction.

Repentance requires true brokenness.

Repentance is NOT asking the Lord for forgiveness with the intent to sin again.

Repentance is an honest, regretful acknowledgement of sin with commitment to change.

Repentance leads us to cultivate godliness while eradicating habits that lead into sin.

Oswald Chambers said: "The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man's respectable `goodness.' … Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses--repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for `the gift of tears.' If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin."

And brokenness.

Repentance is difficult. Begin the healing journey to repentance with prayer, perhaps a written letter to God recounting sins or journaling. As the Holy Spirit continually convicts of past sins, write them down and pray over them. The Holy Spirit will guide every step of the way to healing.

A Prostitute Forgiven and Healed

Luke 7:36-50 speaks of an unnamed woman—a known prostitute—who arrives at a house where Jesus is dining with Pharisees.

Realizing Jesus could forgive her, this notorious sinner began to weep. Her heart ached over her many sins. As tears continued to flow, she washed Jesus' feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair

Simon, a Pharisee, was shocked that Jesus would allow a harlot to touch him. Pharisees were careful to not touch sinners. They thought all sin, like colored dye in water, could contaminate them.

Jesus told Simon the story of a man who had two debtors: One owed 500 silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither could pay so the man forgave both. Jesus asked Simon which of the debtors would love the man more. Simon rightly replied that the one with the largest debt would love the most.

Jesus made the point to Simon—and us—that the woman's many sins had been forgiven for she loved much. She showed Jesus how much she loved him.

Jesus faces the woman: "Your sins are forgiven. … Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:48, 50)

Think about it for a moment: Forgiveness and healing is Jesus' basis for seeking and receiving sinners. By trusting in Jesus’ loving heart, we can also know forgiveness of our sins and healing of brokenness.

Hear Jesus' words: “Your sins are forgiven... Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

He is speaking to you, too.


Jan Coates is the founder and president of http://www.setfreetoday.com/, a ministry where you can come as you are and leave with a new beginning. Jan is an author, speaker and consultant. She is a frequent conference speaker and appears on national television and radio programs. To schedule Jan for your next event, please email her at jan@jancoates.com

Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than seven books and has penned 1,100 articles. She shares tough real-life topics and biblical application in a simple easy to grasp manner. To book Rebekah for your next event visit http://www.rebekahmontgomery.com. Rebekah is also the executive director of Set Free Today ministry.

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