“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). What did Jeremiah mean when he said this? The words of the Rev Eric Alexander sum up Jeremiah’s point very well: “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.”
When we read Jeremiah’s words on their own, we may find, in them, a counsel of despair: “Give up hope. Everything is hopeless.” When, however, we move forward to Jeremiah 31:3, we read these wonderful words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” These words are followed, in Jeremiah 31:17, by the positive declaration, “there is hope.”
Where does this hope come from? It comes from God’s everlasting love. Humanly speaking, there is no cure, and there is no hope. There needs to be something more than “Humanly speaking … ” All that “humanly speaking” tells us is this: you are sinners. The Gospel tells us that sinners are loved by God and can be saved by Him.: “Jesus Christ saves to the uttermost all who come to God through Him” (Hebrew 7:25). Jesus comes down to where we are and He lifts us out of the pit of our despair.
We cannot claim that we have been fully delivered from our self-centredness, but we are in the process of recovery. The first thing we must say about ourselves is this: “I’m a sinner.” This is not, however, the only thing that we can say about ourselves. There is something else – “I’m a sinner, saved by grace.”
In the Lord, there is fullness of grace. Out of the fullness of His grace, we have received grace, not once or twice, but many times over (John 1:16).
While we’re here on earth, we’ll never outgrow our need for His grace, but neither will He exhaust the supply of His grace.