The Beautiful Blessing of Heartburn
“They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” – Luke 24:32
It seems like you can’t watch television these days without seeing a commercial for some type of heartburn medication. Various brands in competition with each other will promise the consumer relief to their heartburn predicament. No one wants heartburn; or do they? The answer to this question depends on what type of heartburn you are talking about. You see, there is physical heartburn and then there is spiritual heartburn. Physical heartburn is no fun, and is a feeling that you want removed. If you go and see a physician about your problem, he or she will probably give you a prescription to help get rid the inflammatory feeling causing you the discomfort. But spiritual heartburn is different. Spiritual heartburn refers to your passion for God. It is a feeling that needs to be intensified rather than stifled. And unlike a physician, God the great physician wants this kind of heartburn multiplied and magnified in your life.
In our text above, we read about two disciples of Jesus who had their broken hearts changed to burning hearts all because of an encounter they had with the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. Initially as they set out on their journey, their hearts were filled with doubt, discouragement, disappointment, and defeat; for their Lord had been crucified by the Roman officials. Their dreams of His coming Kingdom were gone. All hope was now gone. They had heard reports of Jesus’ tomb being empty, but this only confused them all the more. The events that had unfolded that weekend had seemed to cause their world to fall apart. Nothing that they had hoped for had come to fruition. And it was in this emotional state that they met a stranger while walking. This traveling stranger was Jesus Himself, though they did not recognize Him. As they walked, Cleopas and his friend expressed their broken heart over the events that had recently unfolded in Jerusalem. Jesus began explaining the Old Testament scriptures to them, helping them understand why Christ had been crucified the way that He had, and why the tomb was empty. When they reached their destination, they invited their new found traveling companion to stay with them a little longer. He accepted their invitation and joined them as they broke bread together. In that moment, their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus. And as His identity was made known to them, He vanished from their sight. Afterwards, they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” Their sadness had been transformed to gladness and their heavy hearts were now happy hearts. They were so elated and exuberant with joy, that they went and told other disciples about their experience. And it was through this encounter with the risen Christ that their passion for the Lord had been rekindled!
Does your heart burn with passion for the Lord? As you daily walk with Christ, does your passion for God increase all the more? After spending time alone with God through prayer and Bible study, do you have an increased passion for the things of God? This is the way it ought to be in the life of the Christian. In other words, you ought to have spiritual heartburn. If you are lacking spiritual heartburn, it might be because you are not daily walking with the Lord and spending time with Him. Ask God to rekindle the burning passion you once had for Him. If you ask God to do so, and do so with sincerity, He will answer a prayer like that every time.
– Pastor Eric