Another Miracle

Reaffirm Your Love

“He now realizes what he did was wrong and is really sorry about it.” Whether these words describe someone who has hurt you or your own heart’s confession, they are an important step in dealing with sin.

Jeremiah 17:9

I am often amazed at my own heart. It is so blind. It can easily read this verse from Jeremiah and nod happily in agreement. “Yes. The human heart is deceitful. I can think of a hundred examples. This person and that person. That group and that movement. Yes. They are all deceitful.” Yet, even as I deepen my understanding of the verse with those connections, I blindly forget my own heart’s deceitfulness. Nathan’s heart is also deceitful! Why does it take so long to realize it? I am so slow. Our deceitful hearts deceitfully blind us.

So, when someone realizes their sin and recognizes the evil that came from their own heart, and their own mouth, and their own mind, we want to rejoice. God’s word worked!

Jeremiah 23:29

The heart has been crushed. God worked a miracle–a heart sorrowful over its own sin.

But sometimes we stop there. It may seem like an appropriate place to end. If someone has betrayed you and hurt you, their newfound pain gives us hope. They finally opened their eyes. They realize they were hurting you. What you were hoping would happen has now happened. The impasse has been broken. Now we can get on to a healthier life. Or so we think.

But we stopped too soon. Time may heal some of the wounds through its passing, but what we need is another miracle.

The Apostle Paul writes, “I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him,” 2 Corinthians 2:8. God, in his wisdom, uses us to bring not only love and announcement of forgiveness to a repentant sinner, but he also uses our love to comfort the sorrowful sinner.

The Corinthian congregation was dealing with a sinner who repented and was deeply sorry for his sin. In fact, his sorrow was almost overwhelming him. God’s law had worked. Now it was time for the gospel. Reaffirm love.
But our community of believers needs the free flowing forgiveness that comes from God. We need it and others need it. And we need it repeatedly. Our hearts deceive us. We may know forgiveness. We may have grown up in churches and families which taught and proclaimed it regularly. However, in the dark sorrows of sin, we become disoriented and do not see it clearly.
Reaffirm love. Again and again and again. Why? Because we have One who has done the same for us.

Author: Nathan Schulte serves as a missionary in WELS missions in Latin America. He lives in Quito, Ecuador.