Revive Our Hearts Podcast

— Audio Player —

Is Your Heart at Peace?

Dannah Gresh: What life circumstances threaten to shake you today? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has some perspective on your storm.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Listen, if God is with you, if He is around you, if He is your fortress, if you have His presence in your life, you don’t have to understand everything. You can be still. You can have a quiet heart. You don’t have to live in turmoil because He is God. He is with you, and He is your fortress.

Dannah: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of A Place of Quiet Rest, for Monday, May 25, 2020. I'm Dannah Gresh.

Before we dive in, we want to take a moment to pause this Memorial Day. Today we remember and honor those who died serving our country. We’re so deeply grateful for their brave sacrifice. Let’s not forget that they gave their all so we could enjoy freedom. They went to war so we could experience peace. And peace is what we want to talk about today. Think about these words: Calm. Peaceful. Do they describe your heart? If not, they can. Let’s listen as Nancy starts off a series called, “How to Have a Quiet Heart.”

Nancy: Not very long ago we were going through some changes in our ministry, some growing pains. Those changes were bringing about some challenges, and I was feeling like the waters were a little choppy.

During that time I picked up a little booklet called Stress. The subtitle was Peace Amid Pressure. It’s written by a friend, someone who had ministered to me. So I picked it up, and this booklet on stress was actually a message or an exposition on a psalm that I had memorized years ago. It’s a psalm I’ve loved over the years.

But as I was having my attention brought back to this psalm, Psalm 131, (feel free to be turning there in your Bibles), as I was reading this little booklet, I had no way of knowing that within days the winds were going to pick up, and we were going to soon be in a full-force gale.

Isn’t that the way life often happens? We don’t know what’s ahead. We don’t know when the winds are going to pick up. We don’t know when the storms are going to come.

If we could predict them, we could get out of the way. But sometimes these storms just come and catch you off guard. That’s why you have to live with a prepared heart and the confidence that God in you is the God of the storms.

I’m so thankful I read that little booklet and had my attention directed back to this passage, because in the weeks since I first read that booklet, this passage has been a life preserver for me again and again and again. Psalm 131.

I’ve been telling people in recent weeks, “Find Psalm 131. Go home and read it. Read it in every translation you can find. Pick one that you especially like and memorize it. And then start quoting that psalm, and quote it over and over and over and over again until it becomes a part of you.”

I just trust that during this time, this psalm will become something that is a foundation for your life. You may be in a storm right now, and you may find that I’m getting ready to throw out a life preserver to you.

I’m going to reference a number of different translations through the course of this series, but let me quote the passage to you first in the King James Version, which is the passage in which I originally memorized this psalm.

Psalm 131—just three verses, and it’s a prayer directed to the Lord. David says,

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and forever.

I see several heart attitudes in this passage. In fact, we’re calling this series "How to Have a Quiet Heart." I think that’s something that in this world we especially need.

If you could describe most of our lives as women, you would not describe most of us as having a quiet heart. We tend to be frazzled, frenetic, frantic, frustrated, fragile, and maybe a few other adjectives thrown in there that you can think of.

But a quiet heart? I mean, we’re so stinking busy! How can you have a quiet heart with the pace that most of us keep? And then there’s pain and suffering and problems and these things that get us in turmoil inside. So this passage directs us to some qualities that need to be true if we’re to have a quiet heart in responding to life as it is on this fallen planet.

One of the translations that I’ve referred to gives a title to this psalm that is: “Simple Trust in the Lord.” This psalm takes us back to that simple trust in the Lord. So we’re going to see in the first verse the heart attitude of humility.

We’ll see also in the first verse the heart attitude of simplicity. Then we’ll see how humility and simplicity lead to quietness, and that will be the focus of verse 2.

The focus of verse 3 is trust. Trust in the Lord, and that is the bottom line. We tend to think in the middle of life’s storms and problems, Okay, I know I need to trust in the Lord, but I need something else. I need something more. That’s not enough.

I want to tell you ladies: It is enough because He is enough. There is not a storm you can go through that ultimately the answer for you is not, “Trust in the Lord.”

Now, Scripture has a lot of other things to say, a lot of other things we need to understand, principles we need to apply and obey. But when it comes down to it, do you trust God to be God? Do you trust God to determine when to kick up the storm? Do you trust God to decide when to calm the storm? Do you trust the Lord?

Let’s just start today into this passage, and then we’ll pick it up over the next days. The first quality of humility we see beginning in verse 1: “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty.” This psalm, this prayer, is addressed to the Lord.

It would be one thing for me to say to you, “I’m not haughty. I’m humble. My eyes aren’t lifted up. My eyes aren’t lofty.” But you don’t know my heart. I could tell you that I’m not proud, that I’m trusting in the Lord, that I’m walking with Him; but you have no way of knowing. The One who knows my heart is the One to whom David addresses this psalm.

“Lord, You know all. You see all. You know the true condition of my heart, and I’m addressing this prayer to You. I can’t fool You. I can’t pull the wool over Your eyes.”

David says in this open, transparent, outpouring of his heart to the Lord, “Lord, as You already know—and if I’m not seeing it correctly, I know that You’ll show me—Lord, my heart is not haughty nor mine eyes lofty.”

I see in there a humility that goes two directions: First, a heart that is humble toward God, and then a heart that is humble toward others. David says to God, “My heart is not haughty.” That’s my heart attitude toward God. That word haughty means “to soar; to be lofty; to mount up; to be proud; to raise up to great heights.”

David is saying:

  • God, I know who I am compared to You, and I know I’m nothing compared to You.
  • I don’t esteem myself more highly than I should. I have a proper estimation of my worth and my value.
  • I’m not self-absorbed.
  • I’m not easily offended.
  • I don’t get depressed when I get overlooked or mistreated.
  • I don’t get elated when others pat me on the back or approve of me.
  • My happiness, my well being, is not dependent on others’ view of me.
  • My heart is not haughty toward You.
  • I’m not weighed down with selfish ambition or self-seeking or aspiring.

"Lord, I have a humble heart toward You.”

And then “my eyes are not lofty.” I think that has to do with the way we see others. You know the passage in Proverbs 6:17 where it talks about six, yea seven things the Lord hates? One of those things is a proud look. It’s the same phrase used here as “lofty eyes.” A proud look—lofty eyes—it’s an abomination to the Lord.

The Psalmist is saying here, “I don’t look down on others.” What are some of the ways we do that?

  • belittling
  • judging
  • envy
  • bitterness
  • anger
  • a competitive spirit
  • domineering
  • quick to find fault and point out the mistakes of your mate or your children or your pastor

“My eyes are not lofty.” Quick to assume negatively on others? That’s lofty eyes.

I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon that I found while I was studying this passage. He said,

After all, Brothers and Sisters, we are nobodies and we have come from a long line of nobodies! . . . We all trace our line [up] to a gardener who lost his place through stealing his Master’s fruit—and that is the farthest we can possibly go.

So what do we have to be proud of? Look where we’ve come from! Look who we are compared to God. We are nothing. So for us to esteem ourselves better than others is so foolish. You’ll never have a quiet heart if you don’t have a humble heart. We need our pride, which comes naturally to all of us, to be subdued and conquered by Christ.

But a humble spirit is the basis for a peaceful spirit. If your heart is humble, then you can be quiet and composed within, even as the Psalmist was. You can have a peaceful spirit. You won’t be easily disturbed.

But if your heart is proud toward God or your eyes are lofty toward others, if you have an exalted, elevated opinion of yourself, then you’re going to be devastated by the storms. You’re going to live in turmoil within.

You’re going to get wounded when someone violates your rights or doesn’t treat you as they should. When someone gets in your space, you’re not going to have a quiet heart. You’re going to rush to defend yourself or rush to retaliate because your heart is proud and your eyes are lifted up.

So David starts by saying, “Lord, I’m approaching You from a position of humility. My heart is not haughty. My eyes are not lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.”

This is one phrase that has become like a mantra to me. I find myself in so many situations of life now where I just have to step back and say, “This is too high for me. This is too great for me, so I am not going to let my heart get exercised over this thing that is too high for me.”

There are a lot of things like that. You see, we want to be able to manage everything. We want to be able to control everything. We want to be able to figure everything out. We want to know why everything is happening. We want to be able to put all the puzzle pieces together. But because God is God and we are not, there are “bajillions” of puzzle pieces that you and I will never, ever be able to put together this side of heaven.

We’re talking in this psalm about how to have a quiet heart, and one of things you need is a heart of simplicity. The simple heart that says, “It’s okay not to be able to figure everything out. I don’t have to know it all. I don’t have to understand it all. I don’t have to figure it all out.”

“Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me.” I’ve quieted my heart. I don’t concern myself. I don’t “exercise myself,” the King James says there, “in great matters, or in things too high for me.”

While I was working on this passage, I was having some problems with my laptop and my DSL modem, and I decided that maybe this verse applied to that, because those things are too high for me. They’re too profound for me to figure out. I think that’s one area that may apply, but there are lots of other areas.

This phrase “things too profound for me,” “things too high for me”—it’s a word that means “things that are extraordinary; things that are miraculous or astonishing; things that are beyond the bounds of human powers or understanding; inaccessible wonders; things we can’t possibly figure out.”

David says, “I’m not going to expend needless energy trying to figure out things that can’t be figured out.” Remember that passage in Proverbs 30 where the writer says, “Three things are too wonderful for me”—too amazing for me? It’s the same word.

Four [things that] I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin (vv.18–19).

There are some things that are just mysteries. I can’t figure them out. I can’t fathom them. Sometimes we spend a lot of needless emotional and mental energy and time and frustration trying to plumb the depths of something we can never understand.

It may be in the way of our trying to have personal ambition, trying to concern ourselves with things that are too high for us. Jeremiah in the Old Testament said to Baruch, “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t seek them.”

  • Don’t try to be lifted up.
  • Don’t try to be exalted yourself.
  • Don’t strive.
  • Don’t be ambitious for great position or prominence, for great accomplishments.

“If only I could do something really valuable for the Lord. If only I could really have a lot of wealth or possessions. If only I could have lots of human approval or recognition.”

Those are things that are higher than what we should be grasping for. Charles Spurgeon, if I can quote him again, said,

Fill your sphere, Brother, and be content with it. If God shall move you to another, be glad to be moved. If He moves you to a smaller, be as willing to go to a less prominent place as to one that is more so. Have no will about it. Be a weaned child that has given up fretting, crying, worrying and leaves its mother to do just what seems good in her sight. When we are thoroughly weaned it is well with us—pride is gone and ambition is gone, too.

So you say, “This company just doesn’t value me the way they should. I have no place on this organizational chart. There’s a glass ceiling here, and they’re not letting me accomplish what I could in this organization.” Maybe you feel that way in your home. “I’m just not being allowed to use my gifts.”

Are you seeking great things for yourself? You’ll never have a quiet heart as long as you are. Don’t seek them. Let God be God. Let God place you where He wants to use you and have you serving in a way that’s pleasing to Him and doing what would be His will for your life.

Here’s another area where we tend to try and figure out things that can’t be figured out, and that’s in relation to spiritual and theological truths. You don’t have to understand all the deep things of God or understand all about post-modern thought and philosophy in order to have an effective ministry or be an effective servant of the Lord in this day.

Again, let me quote Charles Spurgeon, who has such a way with words and word pictures. He says it’s like a little child who

Expects to understand a book on trigonometry and cries because it cannot, or a child who frets and kicks in its nurse’s arms because it cannot get the Atlantic [Ocean] into the hollow of its hand. . . . Yet a child might sooner hold the Atlantic and Pacific in its two hands, without spilling a drop, than you and I will ever be able to hold all the revealed Truth of God within the compass of our narrow minds!

God’s truth is infinite. Our minds are these puny, tiny, little things fabulously made by God. But we can’t begin to comprehend the vastness of God’s truth, of theological thought, of the Scripture. That’s why you keep searching. You keep exploring, you keep digging, but you’re also realizing, “I can never understand it all.”

And then an area where sometimes I think we’re most prone to exercise ourselves in great matters or in things too high for us has to do with the providence and the choices of God for our lives. “Okay,” we say, “I can’t understand everything about theology, but it’s the stuff that’s going on in my life right now that doesn’t make sense. I’ve got to understand it.”

I’ll tell you what. If you feel that you have to understand and make sense of everything that’s going on in your life, you will drive yourself crazy trying. You cannot fathom the providence and the choices of God for your life.

A woman wrote us not too long ago. She said,

I’ve been widowed almost a year. My forty-five-year-old husband died very suddenly, leaving me with our ten children, ages three to twenty-two. It has been a real trial and struggle to my faith. I do not understand God’s will in taking my husband from us. We’re very faithful to church. We’re very involved. It doesn’t make sense to me.

I’m sure that’s true. And there are things that don’t make sense to you. Why did the Lord take my dad when he was fifty-three years of age, suddenly with a heart attack, leaving my forty-year-old mother widowed with seven children ages eight to twenty-one? It doesn’t make sense. But you know what? It doesn’t have to make sense to me.

You have to come to the place in your life where you are content to live with mystery. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t ask God what His purposes are, that you don’t ask God for light and understanding. If God shows you, great!

But He may not show you. You may never see and understand all the purposes. You will never see or understand all the purposes that God has for what He does in your life.

Spurgeon again said,

[It’s] foolish to try to know all the reasons of Divine Providence—why this affliction was sent and why that? . . . When we begin asking, "Why? Why? Why?" what an endless task we have before us! If we become like a weaned child we shall not ask "why?" but just believe that in our heavenly Father’s dispensations there is a wisdom too deep for us to fathom.

That’s what the Scripture says in Deuteronomy 29:29. “The secret things belong to the Lord.” Let Him have them. Let there be some things that God knows that you don’t.

This little booklet that I read on Psalm 131 said, “Most of the noise in our souls is generated by our attempts to control the uncontrollable.” Isn’t that true? We try to manage something. We try to fix somebody. We try to change somebody. We try to control somebody. And we end up with this noise in our soul; not a quiet heart, but in turmoil.

When it comes down to it, we go back to Psalm 46:10–11.

“Be still [cease striving], and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Listen, if God is with you, if He is around you, if He is your fortress, if you have His presence in your life, you don’t have to understand everything. You can be still. You can have a quiet heart. You don’t have to live in turmoil because He is God. He is with you, and He is your fortress.

Dannah:Those words Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth spoke some years ago bring such peace to me in this time—a time when my heart often feels anything but quiet! It’s tempting to try to control, to try to understand everything, and to make our opinions known about all that’s happening in our world. But this message reminds us of the freedom that comes through trusting God with our circumstances, our lives, and our hearts.

We hope you’ll find these discussions encouraging in whatever you’re facing today. Revive Our Hearts wants to bring you and women everywhere truth from God’s Word to discover the freedom found in Christ. The production and airing of these programs is made possible by listeners like you. When you support Revive Our Hearts in prayer or give to the ministry, you’re part of the work God is doing globally. Our friend, Dorcas, who lives in Italy, sent us this message.

Dorcas: I have witnessed with much joy the work the Lord has done through the resources of Revive Our Hearts in the hearts of the women around me. Thanks to the Father for this!

Dannah: Dorcas is passionate about seeing the gospel transform women’s lives. She says her prayer is that “the Lord turns the hearts hardened by this pandemic into hearts thirsty for the Living Water that flows from the fountain of eternal life.” God is at work there in Italy where the people have been hit so hard by this pandemic. We’re humbled that He would use Revive Our Hearts to make an eternal impact.

This week begins a very important week for us. It is the last week of our fiscal year, and we’re trusting God to provide the remainder of a $750,000 need to end our year well. Something all of us can do to help with this need, regardless of finances, is pray. I'm inviting you to pray with us right now, that God would meet this need and that we as a team would trust Him to provide.

I know you may have been affected by the crisis this world is facing. Our hope is that your needs are being met, and if so, that you’re able to give to those around you and in your church. Then, if the Lord prompts you, would you consider giving a gift to Revive Our Hearts? We gladly welcome your support for this significant fiscal year-end need.

If you want to be a part of calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ, you can visit us at, or give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. When you give a gift of any amount, we’ll send you the book You Can Trust God to Write Your Story as a way of saying "thanks" for your support. This book by Nancy and her husband, Robert, will help you learn to quiet your heart in the midst of difficult circumstances, when your story doesn’t turn out or look the way you thought it would. Ask for your copy of the book on trusting God when you call, or visit us online. 

As we prepare for tomorrow’s message, Nancy explains why it’s possible to have a quiet heart even when we’re in the middle of a storm.

Nancy: One thing I'm learning as I study this psalm is we need to quiet our own soul. No one can do it for you. We tend to want somebody else to come around us and fix it or help it or make it better. People can encourage us. They can point us to the Lord, but ultimately, we have to say to our own soul, “Soul, be quiet. Be still. Wait on the Lord.”

Dannah: We'll hear more tomorrow when Nancy explains how to maintain that kind of amazing attitude. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts. I'm Dannah Gresh.

Helping you quiet your heart. Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Support the Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Darkness. Fear. Uncertainty. Women around the world wake up hopeless every day. You can play a part in bringing them freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness instead. Your gift ensures that we can continue to spread gospel hope! Donate now.

Donate Now

About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.