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The heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of

July 20, 2012

From time to time I tape an important quote or saying on my office wall.  One of the most significant of those quotes is by Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher who was a Christ-follower. He wrote, “The heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of.

All of us have personal spiritual struggles. In the privacy of our own minds we wonder whether other people experience questions or issues similar to the ones that plague us. For years I was someone who wrestled with doubt. How could I really know that the Bible was true, that Christ was God and that when I die the reality of heaven would break in upon me? The stakes seemed too high to just take a chance and believe. Why would someone take a risk on things involving eternity? I longed to have some security, but there was never enough evidence.

All this went on for years until, after considerable pain, I realized that I was approaching Christian faith in a rationalistic manner, one which demands some proof that sets the doubt aside once and for all. I had read all of the books on Christian apologetics with their intellectual arguments designed to buttress my faith. They were helpful, but never quite enough. I needed certainty. Yet, it seemed that assurance was forever out of reach! During this time, I visited with a friend who helped me to see that looking for rationalistic assurance of Christianity’s truth was a dead end. Such pursuits were simply my self-seeking way of trying to get God to work on my terms and, in the end, eliminate the need for faith.

About this time, I began to turn from my head to my heart, which lead to a very important breakthrough! I realized that I had all kinds of spiritual longings which could only be met in Christ. Where did they come from? Could it be that these aspirations were an “apologetic” in and of themselves for the existence of God and the truth found in His Word? After all, where did these heart longings come from except from the very God who intended to satisfy them? I began to ponder the Pascal quote, “The heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of,” and I began to give myself permission to follow “reasons” from beyond the rationalistic world.

Soon, the walls of doubt began to crumble. It was as if God introduced a whole new level of assurance, one that is not bound by rationalism. Suddenly my faith took on a whole new sense of energy, confidence and joy! I had come to the end of a frustrating journey that was driving the need for intellectual proof. I realized that I have more than a head, I have a heart! And the heart has its reasons which the mind knows nothing of.

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