Refining Your Heart

by John and Ruth Greene

ruth-old-thinking-1Why do tough times come? Perhaps trial or a certain measure of hardship comes as an opportunity! When tough times come, your Heavenly Father wants you to purify your heart and mind so that you can be closer to Him. (1 Peter 1:7) In this way, YHWH shows you what is in you so that you can clear out anything that is in the way of complete trust in Him. This is because your trust in Him is much greater than gold. (“How Satan Challenges You“)

“A refining pot is for silver and a furnace for gold, but YHWH tries the hearts.” – Proverbs 17:3, ISR98

mockeryFew acts are as cruel as making light of those that are ‘less fortunate’ or suffering some kind of hardship. The people that do this typically salve their own feelings of insecurity, making them feel better about themselves. The cruel want to feel better about themselves, usually at the expense of others. Whether a person is poor in YHWH’s Spirit, poor in health or poor in finances, the motivations and reasoning of cruelty are often the same.

“He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” – Proverbs 17:5, NKJV

A person that mocks the weak or the different in appearance actually ridicule YHWH. Why? Because the weak or the different are also part of YHWH’s creation descended through mankind. He loves them. To ridicule or criticize in mockery of others easily becomes a form of greed, a pitiful attempt to build yourself or your beliefs up at the expense of others. This kind of thinking is rampant in the world today. (“Understanding Real Prosperity“; “Real Love“)

“A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.” – Proverbs 17:8, NIV

briberyThe Bible says that a wicked man receives a bribe. (Proverbs 17:15, 23, 28; Exodus 23:8; Matthew 28:11-15) You see this sort of self-favoring conduct within institutions of the world as a normal form of conduct. (Exodus 23:1-9) What are institutions but groups of men and women with a purpose? Bribes and other self-favoring behavior often partner with judging others expediently or through an agenda or viewpoint that promotes the well-being of those in earthly authority. Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent are both grave errors in judgment. As individuals that are influenced by a larger society, we have a tendency to adopt the same kind of patterns as those in authority. One solution to faulty patterns of thinking is revealed in Proverbs 17:28. Keeping quiet is a good policy when you have nothing worthwhile to say. Why? It allows the opportunity to listen and learn. Your silence gives you something in common with wiser observers. Your time of silence can allow scripture to point out truth that you really need. To pause, to listen, to think before you speak can give you something important to say by observing others. Scripture gives wiser advice still:

“He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” – Proverbs 17:9, NKJV

justice of man - rule of lawJustice among men has always been a problem and no less so in ancient Israel. (Isaiah 5:1-7) YHWH’s chosen nation was to bear fruit, to carry out Elohim’s work and to uphold His justice. That nation did bear fruit, but that fruit was bad. The song of the vineyard in Isaiah 5 plays on words. The Hebrew words for justice and bloodshed sound very much alike as do those for righteousness and distress. (“Choosing to Serve YHWH, Not Man“; “Redeemed Through Obedience“: “Is Your Forgiveness Real?“)

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” – Matthew 7:16-20, NKJV

the gift of first fruitDisciples of the Messiah must examine their own fruit, their hearts. Have you examined your life fruit recently? Is it good or evil? What are you following with your life? In the process of healing your life, bad roots need to be removed from your life and conduct. In this way your mind and heart are refined. Nothing has such a direct ability to ruin your health and waste your life like anxiety, grief, worry and anger. The work of these roots in life results in destruction and death. (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9; Proverbs 14:30, 15:2, 13; Psalm 102:3-5) A broken spirit, weighted by affliction through fear, guilt and shame is a tool of Satan. Conversely, a cheerful heart is closer to trust in YHWH, to good health and well-being that He desires for you. This isn’t the vanity of the fool, a carnal sensual abandonment to mindless glee. (Hebrews 6:4-6; Proverbs 1:7, 10:23, 11:29, 12:15, 13:16; 14:8) It is more like pleasant conversation among friends. (1 Corinthians 2:13; Ephesians 1:13; Matthew 7:1-29; “Refining Your Heart“; “Angry Christian: Are You Toxic“)

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22, NKJV

bandageYour heart is the center of your spiritual life, as well as your personal and intimate completion of the fruit of your life. (1 Corinthians 2:14, 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:5, 7:10; Isaiah 11:2) Life through the Holy Spirit isn’t about bandages, but the removing of bandages and healing of the wound. (Luke 4:8, 10:9; Romans 5:5, 12:2; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Jeremiah 8:22; Proverbs 12:25, 15:30, 16:24, 18:14) While focusing on self as a reward is not the chief motive of a disciple of Messiah, YHWH’s Spirit bears much fruit in the lives of dedicated disciples. (Galatians 5:25; Matthew 10:1, 13:15; James 4:7, 5:14-16; 3 John 1:2; Jeremiah 17:14; Psalm 103:2-4, 147:3; Proverbs 4:20-22; Isaiah 54:17)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV

Love is the root of all the fruit of YHWH’s Spirit. In this way, men and women become fruitful through the Messiah and the Holy Spirit. Disciples of the Messiah become renewed by the Holy Spirit as love is shed abroad in the heart. (Colossians 3:1, 10; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:6; 1 John 3:9; Titus 3:5; “Abiding in Trust“)

“Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim [YHWH], a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15, ISR98

“For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, RNKJV
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your glory. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. Amen.
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
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