Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me.”┬áJob 23:16

Job was a man in great conflict of soul, both emotionally and spiritually. He had lost all of his earthly possessions and almost all of his family. His health was gone, and his friends were not helpful. He felt at times that God had deserted him. He had gone through so much. The Scripture tells us that God used this experience to do something powerful in Job’s life. Job said, “God maketh my heart soft.” Through his trials and troubles, Job was weakened, humbled, and crushed.

As with all of His children, God uses trials and difficulties to change us for the better. None of us want to go through anything like what Job experienced, but we all share one thing in common. We need hearts that are tender and soft, as opposed to hard and resistant. We do not need hearts that are prideful and stubborn, but hearts that are weak and dependent on God. It is not natural for a man to have a heart that is surrendered to God. This is the work of His grace in our lives.

We know that things can happen that cause our hearts to become hard. We can sometimes be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). Sin that is not confessed and forsaken can make our hearts hard. Sometimes circumstances and offenses have been the cause of hardened hearts. In any case, God wants our hearts to be tender and soft.

In the parable of the sower, when the seed fell on stony ground, the hardened heart did not bring forth fruit. God told the people in Hosea’s day to “break up your fallow ground” (Hosea 10:12). Revival will not come to a people whose hearts are hard and stubborn. If we learn anything from the Bible, we learn that the condition of the heart is the key to seeing God work in a life. Job testified that God made his heart soft. Heartache and hardships can do that. They can soften our hearts and make us more tender.

God does not need people who are calloused and stubborn; He wants and uses servants that are sensitive and broken. We need to be alert to the needs of others; however, most importantly, we need to be sensitive to the Spirit of God. Prideful and unyielded hearts are not prone to receive God’s Word or be responsive to His leadership. None of us like to go through trying times, but when we do, perhaps God will use our adversity to soften our hearts.