How God really can soften a hard heart

For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me – and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.— 1 Corinthians 15:9-10

As he approached the end of his life, atheist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre declared, “I do not feel I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”

This was a shocking turn for Sartre, who had spent much of his life ardently defending atheism. After his death, his long-time lover Simone de Beauvoir protested, saying, “How should one explain the senile act of a turncoat?”

For Sartre, this change of heart went against almost everything he had ever espoused in his life. And while he most likely didn’t embrace Christ before his death, who can deny that he had begun to see the light?

As we look at unbelievers, there are many who, like the apostle Paul before his conversion, seem to be beyond hope. They’ve hardened their hearts again and again, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever come to the truth. But like Paul, we should never lose hope that they may see the light of Jesus.

Don’t give up on anyone. Keep praying and sharing Christ, trusting that God can soften even the hardest heart!

Prayer Challenge

Ask God to give you a heart for even the most hardened unbelievers and to never give up hope they’ll see the light of Christ.

Questions for Thought

Who are some people who come to your mind that seem to be hardened beyond hope?

How can you as a believer in Christ continue sharing God’s love with people with hard hearts?