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What must I do?

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Written by: Christopher Sernaque

Question: I believe that I have a hardened heart. With this in mind, I see my need to change, but how is one to overcome a hard heart? Is it too late for me, who knows the truth but has a hard heart, to come to Christ for help to overcome my hard heart? Is it too late?

Dear Reader,

Thank you for sending in your question, for it is the most important question that you could ask. You are asking, in essence, “How can I be made right with God?” Nothing is more important than your relationship with God and the fact that your heart is burdened is proof that the Holy Spirit is still working on it. (Mark 8:36, John 16:8). Take note of this fact. Even though it may be unpleasant to feel your heart struggling, and to feel yourself being convicted, praise God that you are still experiencing that inner struggle. The Bible says that God’s spirit does not strive with man forever. (Genesis 6:3). The very battle that you are fearing that you have already lost, is still raging. In other words, it is not too late for you.

Before I continue, I must say that I am an uninspired human being, and so my words will be of no avail. I want to lead you to the Inspired Writings, for it is in them that you will find the answer to your questions. Even King David, who was an ancestor of the Messiah, found himself in your exact same situation. David feared as you do now, that he had grieved the Holy Spirit and that it was too late for him to be saved. (Psalm 51:11) However, what God did for David, he can do for you. Read over Psalm 51 and put yourself in the shoes of David. God loves you tremendously, and He wants you to be saved. When your heart feels overwhelmed by your guilt, there is a promise that you can claim, one that has helped me in my walk. “…when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”-Psalm 61:2.

There are also promises in the Spirit of Prophecy, which the Lord wants you to read, and I will include them below. To put it plainly, this is the absolute best advice that I can give you. The Bible says that by beholding we become changed. (2 Corinthians 3:18, Exodus 34:1-5). If you continue to behold your doubts, you will only reinforce them, so instead behold the promises that God has in His Word. If you want a new heart, the Bible promises that that heart can be yours. (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Do you have trouble believing that you can have a new heart? Then pray, “Lord, increase my faith.” (Luke 17:5). Do not give up dear Reader, nothing is impossible for God! (Matthew 19:35, Luke 1:37). God bless you and stay encouraged.

Note: These are encouraging promises from Sister White’s book, “Steps to Christ.” Read the book with an open mind and heart, because as the title suggests, this book will lead you from the pit of hell into the arms of Christ.

Promise 1:

When Satan comes to tell you that you are a great sinner, look up to your Redeemer and talk of His merits. That which will help you is to look to His light. Acknowledge your sin, but tell the enemy that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” and that you may be saved by His matchless love. 1 Timothy 1:15. Jesus asked Simon a question in regard to two debtors. One owed his Lord a small sum, and the other owed him a very large sum; but he forgave them both, and Christ asked Simon which debtor would love his Lord most. Simon answered, “He to whom he forgave most.” Luke 7:43. We have been great sinners, but Christ died that we might be forgiven. The merits of His sacrifice are sufficient to present to the Father in our behalf. Those to whom He has forgiven most will love Him most, and will stand nearest to His throne to praise Him for His great love and infinite sacrifice. It is when we most fully comprehend the love of God that we best realize the sinfulness of sin. When we see the length of the chain that was let down for us, when we understand something of the infinite sacrifice that Christ has made in our behalf, the heart is melted with tenderness and contrition. { SC 35.4}

Promise 2:

Many are inquiring, “How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?” You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not despair. What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him. { SC 47.1}

Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians. { SC 47.2}

Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith. { SC 48.1}

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