Hearts Can Fool

The Wild West of yesteryear was full of illusions on distant horizons. One of George Custer’s young officers was sure he saw a party of Indians a mile away. As the soldier charged, the Indians looked plainer each moment. But arriving at the point, there were no Indians at all—only some buffalo carcasses. Other travelers saw ships skimming across the desert sand in full sail, railroad tracks elevated on pilings, or water birds with brilliant plumage. All of these illusions occur when light rays pass through the atmosphere bent and distorted.

But no optical illusions in nature exceed the illusions that can be left by our own hearts. By diagnosis, the human spiritual heart is “beyond cure.” Unaided by God, the response of each of us toward knowing his or her heart must be despair: “Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). No one can fathom the secrets or pierce the darkness of his or her own heart. This is especially true at the point of the question about whom we trust—here again, our hearts can fool. But there is hope. It rests in this: God knows your heart (Jer. 17:10). He sifts, searches, explores, and probes the human heart. He tests and examines human emotions. This is our hope. When we get to know God, we get to know our own heart. You do not know your heart by looking into it yourself. You know your heart by getting to know God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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