Broken Hearts

Posted by Karah


Think about a time when you were overwhelmed by grief. How did God show you His compassion during that time? Thank Him for His compassion toward you.

Think about that time when you were overwhelmed with grief again. How did you feel? How did you express your grief? Circle any words or feelings that apply:

scared                                                  confused                                                                     

overwhelmed                                       remorseful                                                                  

upset                                                    sorrowful

wanted to be alone                              wanted to ignore it

You’ve probably grieved after the death of someone you love or the loss of a dream or relationship. But have you ever grieved or wept over your sin? Think about that as you read Joel 2:12-13.

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster.”

—Joel 2:13

• In the Old Testament, tearing your clothing was a symbol of grief and repentance. What have you had to mourn over in your life in order to make a change and live differently? Explain.

• Joel said outward expressions of grief meant nothing if the person’s heart wasn’t changed. Think about this in relation to sin and repentance. How do you know this to be true?


• Mull over this thought: Real repentance is more than saying you’re sorry. It involves a change in the way you live, think, or act.

• Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and your life and reveal any sin that needs to confessed. Truly mourn over it and repent.

• For further study on repentance, read 2 Corinthians 7:5-11 and listen to “Why You Brought Me Here” by Andy Gullahorn.

Behind the Story

While the Old Testament often calls people to circumcise their hearts, this is the only instance it mentions tearing their hearts. This suggests deep grief over sin and a commitment to change. Living according to God’s standard isn’t about following rules, but rather submitting your life to His control.

The Point

Genuine repentance is more than just words. When we truly repent, God forgives because He is compassionate.

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