“Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens the heart will fall into calamity.” – Proverbs 28:14 NKJV
Reverence, or deep respect, is a thing that is defined differently within us all, as individuals. A deep respect for my grandfather is a cherished treasure that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life. Another example is the deep respect I have for my mother, who raised me alone in the midst of a hellacious relationship with my father. The respect that we have for others varies for all us. It is the good memories, feelings, and the ways that my heart is touched by the experiences that gives me good reason to harbor the emotions that go along with the respect I have for these things. I have a tender place in my heart when it comes to the things mentioned, as well as many, many others.
In the Proverb of Solomon, the man who is always in fear of the Lord, the healthy fear that the faithful man possesses, the reverent man, is a happy man. Happy, in my opinion and heart, is seeing that God in Christ is the author and finisher of my faith (Heb. 12:2). He is the One who is in control, and the One I must lean on in times of trouble. The joy that He provides is never lost, given or taken away. That is joy. Real joy. The promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ is joy in the purest form! I cannot speak for Solomon, nor am I some great theologian, so I cannot know the measure that he spoke of when it came to reverence towards the Lord.
I would like to personally get into the hardened heart that I have possessed, and continue to break free from through the loving and merciful grace of our Lord.
My hardened heart is full or many battle wounds that are healed, healing and still wide open. I am not always reverent. I am not a man who puts on the whole armor of God, all day, every day. Sure, I have grown in His Word, in His spirit, in His grace, in His mind, in His way and time, but there are some powerful demons that still haunt me. These powerful demons are the situations in my personal life that bring on anger, uneasiness, stress and “calamity”. My heart is hardened. Within the softness of my heart are blackened spots of rage, and pain. They are there because of the things I had no control over as a kid. They are there because of the problems I currently have with family, that the other party is not willing to resolve. There is still calamity in my happiness. My life is so peaceful, and my mind is at ease, but only if I stay away from the harm at hand.
Yesterday, I had to make a decision that was not easy. I had to quit letting my personal, blackened, hardened heart dynamics, control me. I had to fully give it to God. I realized that my faith, and His grace, is enough for this battle of mine. The joy that I lack in these times of calamity are solely because I want to increase instead of decreasing, and letting Him lead. I must know that His righteous plan is what will be. I just have to remain in the fruitful ways of the Spirit. The ways of who He is, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. If I remain in Him, (John 14 and 15), I am whole. The calamity leaves, and the peace is restored.
I have no idea how or when the calamities in my personal life will come to and end, but GREATER IS HE. That is enough. That is the joy I will continue to carry in my heart. If you carry calamity in your heart, please start, or restore the relationship you have with Jesus. Finding peace in Him is the joy that the heart longs for.