Burning Hearts in 2022
As another year is dawning, I desire it to be one that richly counts for God. I want it to be a spiritually prosperous and productive year. I want it to be the kind of year that I will look back in the years to come, and I will view it as one of the most meaningful years of my life as far as eternal things are concerned. If the coming year is a year of significant spiritual advancement and achievements, I believe there is one essential thing. We must have and keep a burning heart (Trivette, 2006).
Why should we keep the fire alive in our hearts? First, we need a burning heart to keep us moving. Consider Jeremiah 20:9.
“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wary of forbearing, and I could not stay.”
In simple words, Jeremiah, the prophet, said to quit preaching. He was ready to get out of the ministry. We see his discouragement in Jeremiah 20:7,
“O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, everyone mocks me.”
Observe a couple of aspects of his discouragement. First, there was the ridicule he faced. The word “derision” speaks of being “mocked” and “laughed at.” He says the people passing by made fun of him all the time. He says I was in the crowd with everyone mocking him the entire time. I can understand why he was discouraged. But there was also the deception he felt. He says to God, “O LORD, thou hast deceived me.” He struggles with the feeling that God has let him down. God had promised Him protection, and now he is in stocks. Have you ever felt like God let you down? I doubt there is one in this place that has not felt like God had either forsaken you or forgotten you.
The New Year may bring things we never expected or anticipated, such as COVID-19. There may be things that will happen that will break our hearts. The very foundations of our life may be washed away by some storm of adversity. There may be bright days ahead, but there are also possible gloomy days ahead. There may be much to make us glad, but it is also possible there may be things along that will make us sad. Just as there is the reality that difficulties could be a part of the New Year, those difficulties can bring discouragement. There may be dark and depressing days ahead, and this possibility makes having a burning heart essential. If we keep moving forward when things get complicated and discouraging, we must have a burning heart.
Jeremiah was ready to quit, but as he said in Jeremiah 20:9, “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones.” This burning heart kept him motivated when he was ready to quit. You must set a goal to read God’s Word every day in the coming year, and it is the source of a burning heart.
Secondly, we need a burning heart to keep us motivated and keep us growing. I want you to look with me at Psalm 39:3. We find David saying, “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire within me.” Jeremiah not only had a burning heart, but we find that David had a burning heart
In David’s burning heart, we are reminded that a burning heart keeps us growing. David had similarly made certain covenants or resolutions. In Psalm 39, he recalls those resolutions. We read in Psalm 39:1,
“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”
David had made specific resolutions. In the first place, he resolved to pay attention to his ways. Two, he had decided not to sin with his tongue. Three, he had determined to bridle his mouth. David not only remembers his covenants, but we also see he Renews his Covenants. David says in Psalm 39:2,
“I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.”
What brought about the renewal of his covenants? It was a burning heart. He says in verse 3, “My heart was hot within me.” His heart had been growing cold, but now it was red hot. His burning heart brought a personal revival and a renewal to keep his covenants with God.
While his spiritual life had been stale, now he is passionate about living for God. In verse 2, he was “dumb with silence.” But in verse 3, he says, “then spake I with my tongue.” His burning heart brought about a renewal in his life. Why do we need a burning heart? When our heart is kindled, it keeps us growing.
Some here have been so devoted to living their lives for God all at once. Living for God was the essential thing in your life. But somewhere, other things began to dominate your life, and the result was that you ceased growing and moving forward in your Christian life. We need a burning heart to stop us from becoming complacent, becoming satisfied with things as they are, rejecting what could be, and accepting the good instead of the finest. A burning heart will keep us reaching higher, aiming further, seeking more, and going forward, and it will keep us growing.
You will notice the source of David’s burning heart. He says in verse 3, “while I was musing the fire burned.” While he mused (meditating), his heart began to ache. Meditation is a match that ignites a fire in the heart. Meditating on God’s goodness and grace, His word and work, His power and plan will create spiritual fire in our hearts.
We read in Luke 24 verse 32, “And they said one to another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Like Jeremiah and David, the two Emmaus disciples had a burning heart.
Why do we need a burning heart for the New Year? We need a burning heart to keep us going. That which will keep us from quitting is a burning heart. We need a burning heart to keep us growing. It will keep us from becoming stale and stagnant in our spiritual walk. We need a burning heart to keep us glowing. It will keep us dreaming, believing, and reaching.
Let our hearts keep burning in 2022,
Trivette, K., 2006. Burning hearts for the new year. [online] https://www.sermonsearch.com/. Available at: <https://www.sermonsearch.com/sermon-outlines/46297/burning-hearts-for-the-new-year/> [Accessed 28 December 2021].