Our heart is our belief center. What we believe affects our health. I want to take you back to the story of Jacob and his sons. When his sons presented Joseph’s coat of many colors to him, he made a wrong assumption. Here are his words in Genesis 37:35, “…I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning…”
Fast forward to when the sons told Jacob that Joseph was alive. Genesis 45:26 Amplified says, “…And Jacob’s heart began to stop beating and (he almost) fainted, for he did not believe them.”
Verse 27 Amplified says, “…the spirit of Jacob their father revived (and warmth and life returned).” Bad news and good news, both caused emotional upheaval that affected Jacob’s physical heart.
Now let’s go to the story of Nabal and his wife Abigail. You can read the whole story in 1 Samuel 25:2-42. Verse 3 says that Nabal was harsh and evil in his doings. Verse 36 says that Nabal was holding a feast in his house, and that his heart was merry because he was very drunk. When Abigail told Nabal the next morning what she had done, verse 37 says, “…that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone.” Ten days later the Lord killed him.
Here is a true account, which I have permission to share. It took place in 1991. I lived in community with two married couples and another single. Dave was an angry man. He kept every offense in his heart. He could recount every detail, and he was full of bitterness.
Our pastor had met with Dave and his wife to talk to Dave about his unforgiveness. Dave left that meeting saying that he would think about it. We had a house meeting, and Dave was told that they would have to move because his anger was out of control.
Ten days after that meeting, this is what happened. It was early in the morning before any of us were up. Dave asked his wife if he woke her up. He said that he was having chest pains. She turned to ask if he wanted her to call an ambulance, and his last breath whooshed out of him.
The ER doctor asked me about Dave’s health. I told him that the week before they had gone on a long hike, and that he was very strong and healthy. I’ll never forget his words. He said, “His veins are like cement.”
I bring you back to Nabal and Abigail. Verse 2 said of Abigail, “…And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance…” Abigail did not let Nabal’s evil character affect her heart.
This is so key for all of us. We are responsible for our thoughts, and we alone are in control of them. Negative thoughts against yourself, others, or your circumstances affect your physical heart.
This passage does not use the word heart. It described the inner defilement from sinful thoughts. Acts 8:22 says, “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” Peter further disclosed this man’s hidden sin. Verse 23 says, “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
My friend Dave was poisoned by years of bitterness. He was so full of bitterness, there was no room for any more, and his heart turned to stone. The next morning after Dave died, we were clearing out his things. There by his side of the bed was a stack. His shoes were on the bottom, and his clean underwear and socks were on the top. When he went to bed that night, he expected to get up and dress as usual. Let his story be a lesson to all of us to deal with heart-issues as they come up.