As I read articles on Jesus healing the brokenhearted, I find a flaw in many of them. The authors speak of how Jesus died for us on the cross and how the Bible tells stories of Him healing many people. Though true, they make it sound like we simply need to dwell on “past events.” I believe hurting people need to know that Jesus is alive and real and can encounter them NOW in their pain. They need to know that Jesus heals the brokenhearted today and that He can heal them.
I want to share a couple of my own stories to demonstrate just how real Jesus’ presence can be. When we are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit, He is near. The Bible verse (Psalm 34:18 ESV) is absolutely true that tells us:
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
He is close and near in the moments when you are grieving a death, a broken relationship, a lost job, a frightening diagnosis, etc. In every moment of pain, you CAN become aware of Jesus being right there with you. And His presence brings comfort; His power brings healing.
Related Resource: Does Jesus Still Heal Today?
My own lingering childhood grief
I am the middle child in a family with three sisters.
As I grew up, my older sister was the one who kept running into disciplinary problems; my younger sister was under the shadow of kidney disease.
Because of these two situations, I took on the role of the stable, “not too much trouble,” middle sister – the little mama in the family that didn’t get too much attention. I didn’t need it compared to my sisters, my parents seemed to feel. At least, that was my perception. Whether fair or not, I labored under it for far too many years. Because of this, I had feelings of being rejected, isolated, and forgotten.
I remember one day sitting in my office at home. Now, I had received a lot of healing for these soul wounds over many years, but this particular day, I had a marvelous healing encounter with Jesus.
Jesus makes His presence known today
Having finished one task, I relaxed and took a break by playing solitaire on my phone. Suddenly, I could “see” Jesus in my mind. I’ve shared this before, but I’m doing it again, because it was so impactful.
In my mind, I was at one of the motels where my parents took us while visiting a doctor (specialist) for my younger sister. They had left me alone as they went to the doctor. Jesus was there in the parking lot of the motel. He beckoned me to go with Him and sit by the pool. (Now, the “religious” among us might be bothered by the casualness of this vision.) Nevertheless, Jesus and I sat together drinking cokes and playing cards.
In this vision, He said to me, “You know I was with you then and I’m am with you now. I have always been with you. Never will I leave you.” His love was intense, kind.
The incredible comfort and peace that I felt was simply amazing. This “encounter” with the living Christ, initiated by Him and not me, continued a life long healing process that He has brought to me. It wiped out yet another bit of the pile of “grief debris” left by my childhood.
What does a broken heart mean in the Bible?
The wonderful verse mentioned above, Psalm 34:18, says that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” That, to me, is to be taken literally. We should really be able to feel and sense Him, not just talk about what the Bible says He did 2,000+ years ago. Yes, He died on the cross (praise God!), but He rose again and appeared to hundreds of His followers before His ascension.
He also told His followers that the Holy Spirit would come to them. The Holy Spirit would be in them and with them and remind them of all that He had said and taught. (See John 14:15-27) It is through the Spirit of Christ that we continue to encounter the living Lord.
By teaching and training people to be sensitive to the presence of God as they worship, pray, and study scripture but also just in daily living, so many more should be able to sense this nearness and feel the healing capacity of it.
Brokenhearted and crushed in spirit
These two terms, “brokenhearted” and “crushed in spirit” mean just what we think they mean. Take “crushed” in spirit. This word “crushed” in Hebrew is dakka’ (Strong’s #1793) and it means “destruction, a crumbled substance, an object crushed into a powder or pulverized into dust, beaten to pieces.” (In addition, dakka’ can mean “humble and contrite.”)
Doesn’t that sound like the way we feel when something utterly devastating happens? There are times when situations occur that are so excruciatingly painful, you don’t feel you can stop crying or even rise up out of your bed. The pain is just too deep. You do feel “beaten into pieces.”
But the scripture says, “the LORD saves those crushed in spirit.” The word for saves, yasha (Strong’s #3467) not only means to avenge, make safe, help, rescue, preserve, and deliver, but it also means to make victorious over. Here is an explanation from The Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible:
The underlying idea of this verb is bringing to a place of safety or broad pasture as opposed to a narrow strait, symbolic of distress and danger. The word conveys the notion of deliverance from tribulation.
Jesus put His arm around me
I have shared this story before too, but I want others to know they can feel Jesus’ presence and be healed of a broken heart.
I was in Georgia preparing to give a seminar at a conference a few years ago. My husband was home and had received cancer treatment earlier in the day. When I called him to see how he was doing, he said, “Miserable. I feel like I have the flu.”
Though I am a pastor who has operated in the healing ministry for years, my husband has struggled with cancer. We’ve had our victories, but he had not had complete healing at that point. (FYI, he is cancer free now!)
I went into the worship that night feeling crushed in spirit – such a battle that had gone on for so long. And now, I was not at home to help and support my husband.
Jesus heals the brokenhearted
I wanted to leave the worship, but in a moment of prayer at the altar, I literally felt Jesus kneeling beside me with His arm around me. I truly had that sense of His nearness. I felt Him whisper, “Stay.” And so, I did. As I battled through my heartache and sadness, singing, praying, the heaviness lifted. I felt a joy that comes only from the Lord. He lifted me up and I was free again to hope and believe.
Prayer and worship do make us vividly aware that He supernaturally, spiritually, is right next to us. And He is doing battle for us against the heartache of hard circumstances. Plus, He is working to make a way out for us.
Take a moment to listen to this song called “God is Here.” I hope you will find the lyrics so soothing. Then, this article will close with a prayer for the brokenhearted.
How do you pray to heal a broken heart?
You pray being utterly real and broken. Don’t “dress it up for God.” Tell Him what you’re feeling. Here is my prayer for you:
Father, you say you are near to the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit. We know your Word says that you are mighty to save. It also says that you are our Shepherd. You lead us to green pastures and beside still waters. You restore our souls. That means you bring peace to minds full of tormented and lonely thoughts.
In fact, in that psalm, Psalm 23, it even says that you prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies, that you anoint our heads with oil and our cup runs over. Broken heartedness and pain are our enemies.
Lord, help us to focus our thoughts squarely on you, on your word, and on worship music that declares our victory in you. Make yourself so real to the people reading these words and this prayer that they will be totally comforted and set free from sadness. Lift their burdens. Help them to press on in prayer and worship until they feel your breakthrough coming for them. Don’t let them quit before their miracle comes.
in Jesus’ name, amen.
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