Mending Broken Hearts

Betty and I thank you again for the outpouring of love, prayers, and encouragement from so many of you who care deeply for our family. The loss of our precious daughter Robin has perhaps led us to a greater understanding of what it means to be brokenhearted. When facing challenges or crises, certain passages of Scripture will come to mind. During this season, I keep hearing Jesus’ proclamation, “I came to bind up the brokenhearted.” That is one phrase from Isaiah 61 describing the work of our Savior.

The phrase, “bind up the brokenhearted” is from the New American Standard version which I literally spent many hours a day studying for almost 18 straight months after experiencing the marvelous deliverance as an often downtrodden, defeated, burned-out evangelist. The testimony of my glorious freedom and renewed fullness in the Spirit resounded throughout the church world and inspired many to seek the liberty offered to captives and prisoners that Jesus also referenced in that passage. After reading these verses in the New Living Version, I realized that during the past 25 years God obviously anointed me to also deliver good news to the poor, to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners freed, and to care for those who mourn.

Yet somehow that phrase, “sent to comfort the brokenhearted” had never registered so fully and deeply. When your heart is broken beyond anything you could ever imagine, only a miracle of God can bring the necessary healing. I believe as with the physical healing of broken bones or bleeding wounds, it is a process that requires time, the balm of Gilead, and the healing oil that only the Holy Spirit can provide. He is knitting our hearts back together again and along with the healing we are experiencing has come a deep desire to help bind up and comfort others who are brokenhearted. I have even greater appreciation now for the effectiveness of our 24-hour prayer center here at LIFE Outreach with the precious prayer partners who help bear the burdens and heartache of so many. You cannot imagine how many calls we receive daily from those who say, “I am lonely. I just need someone to talk to.” Tears well up in my eyes even as I mention this.

I want to join my heart with the very heart of God to put His arms of love around every person that hurts. We the people of God must endeavor to do that together. We have a devastated nation and broken world. Relationships have been torn apart, families separated, and many are suffering loss. I believe that God is going to show us how to more effectively comfort those who mourn.

This past week I found myself weeping just thinking about the precious witness of our daughter and the words of our grandson when he wrote the poem I shared last week to honor her. He referred to Robin being a radiant flower now thriving in God’s greenhouse and that someday we would be reunited with her and grow even closer to God. He had blessed us with her presence in His earth garden and we will someday be with her again, but now, we must grow “for her”. In other words, we should be a great witness inspired by her example, and not only for her, but for our wonderful Father who is seeking to heal our broken hearts.

As I read the very words, “for her” and began to think about how precious she was, I began to weep deeply. For the last few years when something breaks my heart, I am unable to deal with it by simply wiping my nose and having tears from my eyes. The emotional release seems to come from the top of my head and there is no way I can stop the weeping with mere tissues. My heart was torn asunder at the thought of doing something for our precious daughter and for our wonderful God, Father, and Comforter. I thought, “Why am I crying like this? Why does the emotional flow seem to come from the top of my head?” I felt like God whispered to me, “Do you want to know why? Because you don’t just have a broken heart. You’re not just emotionally concerned about others. The needs, pain, and hurt of others are not just on your heart, they are on your mind. You think about them, care about them, and want to help them. You want to alleviate their suffering. That’s the way it is with Me. People are not just on my heart, they are on My mind.”

God doesn’t just have a broken heart or emotional concern for you. YOU ARE ON HIS MIND. He cares so deeply for you that He not only wants to heal your broken heart and correct that which is distressing you, He wants to lead you in paths of righteousness. He wants to help you become a glorious well-watered garden bearing much fruit because you are intimately connected to the Vine and yielded to it as a branch that brings glory to the Lord. As we live connected to Him and full of His love, we will be able to put His arms around the brokenhearted, also offering a shoulder for others to lean on. We desperately need to do this. Remember, it’s not enough just to have something emotionally on our heart, we must be transformed in our thinking by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2), so we can know and fulfill God’s perfect will.  If ever there’s been a time that we need to get on our face and pray for a broken nation and people with minds that are unable to think clearly, it’s now. We need to reach out with arms of love. Yes, we must speak words of correction (there is no room for compromise in that), but we must speak correction with a broken heart and with compassion. Perhaps there has never been such a need for compassionate expressions than in our present day. But we must also have the mind of Christ to provide meaningful assistance and real answers for challenging problems.

As our family walks through the valley of the shadow, we know that our God does bind up the brokenhearted.  He uses yielded people to reveal His love and His will. Only God as a loving Father can renew our minds so we can effectively assist those who suffer while also correcting foolish, damaging practices. The church as His body has been commissioned to live fulfilling the Kingdom purpose Jesus referenced from the prophet Isaiah:

[tabbed tabs=”Isaiah 61:1-2 (NLT)”]
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…
to comfort all who mourn…


Next week I will expound on a passage of scripture clearly addressing the condition of our nation, and nations around the world that are guilty of forgetting and forsaking God. 

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  1. Dear James and Betty Robison. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. The pain and emptiness must be almost unbearable. If there is anything I can do to help please contact me by email. I am disabled and would be happy to do what I can through mailings or stuff I can do from home. My exhusband and I met you James back in Greensboro, NC in the 1970’s. Your honesty and love for Christ touched my heart. I pray His Love and Grace will carry you through this time of sorrow.

  2. James an Betty, just saw the tribute show was cancelled.. In my heart I knew it was too soon for you two… This kind of pain is so deep because you love so deep….when death came to my door an did not know what to do…my husband an thought we had 50 yrs together, we thought we were one of those couples, after all we had known each other since we were 13 yrs old..I went into a major depression requiring medicine , I didn’t go out in public for over 2 yrs.. , for fear that someone was going to ask me how are you doing? Missed my 35th class reunion, didn’t want someone saying did you come with yr husband? You an Betty need time to grieve……loss is such pain… Take your time …my heart is very sad for u both..I stand on revelation 21… It’s on our headstone…. There will be no more tears, pain, death…..we will go to perfect place and have new bodies!!! Thank you Jesus!! I believe that, because being reunited with my beloved is there on the other side waiting for me..just know that all the dear people who have visited this site , care about you both… I will continue to pray for you to find the peace that only God can give you..

  3. I am so heartbroken over your loss of your dauhter Robin. Your testimonies really touched my heart. May The LORD of all grace touch your hearts at this emotional time to bring comfort and assurance she is In the arms of Jesus. Blessings and Love to you and Betty. Thank You for showing the love of The Father.

  4. I am sorry you lost your precious daughter. You are right, the pain is unbearable, at times. It is smart to acknowledge the pain of grief that is in your physical body and mind right now. Because it is real, and to ignore it, or try to down play it will only make it burrow deeper and hurt more. But you are smart, also, to know that your relief comes in the spiritual knowledge that your daughter is on her spiritual journey with God, and that awareness is what will relieve your pain, little by little, bit by bit. The fact that you know the Word of God so thorougly will be your salvation in this. Yes, your daughter is just fine now, with God. It is those left behind who must endure this loss and learn the lessons from this experience. Spiritual balance. Your knowledge and wisdom in the Word of God is your greatest blessing right now. Hang onto each other.
    Grief is a profound spiritual experience. I will pray for you all and ask that God and His mighty angels lift you up, and ease your burden, and heal your broken heart. My love.

  5. My dear Brother and Sister in Christ Jesus,
    I am sorry for your heartache of not seeing your daughter’s beautiful face and hearing her sweet voice at this present moment. I too have had to experience this void and heartache when my only daughter went home to be with our Lord in 2000′ two days before Christmas, leaving me her 3 teenage daughters to finish raising. It’s a tough trial to go thru and anyone that try’s to be a righteous person that acts like it isn’t, well, just must not have the same heart as I do. We love our children and it seems so unnatural for them to go before us. I searched for answers and asked God why but He doesn’t always give us the answer but the glorious thing He does give us is GRACE. He has patiently told me over and over, “it’s only for a little while” and I get great comfort from those Words. We will rejoice again and she will be there with open arms when it’s your turn anxious to share the Glory of heaven with you. Oh praise God for his redeeming Love. Prayers for you all each time You come in my heart. Love

  6. James an Betty, I just heard on tv today that your daughter passed on to heaven…you both have my most sincere thoughts…your daughter gave you part of her before she left, your grandchildren… How wonderful…unbeknowings to us that was Gods plan…ten years ago I was fighting for my life , now thru surgery an rehab my life was spared… Just when I thought all was good , my husband had been the best nurse anyone could have , he was hit head on died in a motorcycle accident… My 34 years marriage came to an end instantly my life son had only Ben married 3 months..I now have two beautiful little grandaughters, a gift my husband left for me… Gods plan unbeknowings to me..ten yrs ago in my fight I started watchn yr program..I can’t say thank you enough for all that you do… Water for life is a beautiful mission… I wish I was a billionaire , so I could send u millions to drill all the wells they would ever need..your heart James is so soft, sometimes when u cry , I do too..may God give u strength to get thru this season of your life….

  7. Please accept my sympathy in the loss of your daughter, Robin. I remember watching shows as she was going through the struggles of cancer, and you would say that she signed everything, “I WIN”! I’ve shared that with friends going through these health challenges; it’s an inspiration to me. She did “WIN … she has you as earth parents and God as her heavenly Father. She is free now! One of your guests said recently, “Sometimes God heals, and sometimes He takes them home.” Looking back at my losses, that is a comforting thought. I am sure she was greeted with “job well done my good and faithful servant.”
    God bless you all, and thank you for your continued inspiration in my life.

  8. Love and hugs from a daily watcher, you are family to me. so sorry for the brokenhearted, for you James, Betty and family.

  9. I grieve for your loss. I, too have dealt with overbearing loss the last couple of years. My only grandchild at the time passed away of SIDS at 10 weeks and 6 days old on April 18th, 2011. His passing was a tremendous loss for my daughter, myself and our family. Then after 33 years of marriage…2 days after Christmas on December 27th, 2011 my wife of 33 years left me for a man she met on the internet. I was still mourning the loss of my grandson only to start grieving for the adultery and unfaithfulness to our marriage covenant. My daughter was also 5 months with child when my wife did this. It became almost too much to bear. It was like the whole world was caving in around me. I had been a sinner for all my 54 years not knowing God…ignorant to his teachings and his word. My daughter was blessed with birth of a little girl on April 5th, 2012…truly a blessing from God. Still during the next few months I was still afflicted with all the trials and tribulations that had occurred over the previous year. I finally reached out to God. Ask for his forgiveness. Got saved on November 12th, 2012. Ask God to take over my life for me. Turned all my issues over to Him…Purchased a Bible… Started reading his word. Having God’s grace has allowed me to have more of a positive outlook on life. I schedule my lunch hour around your broadcast on TBN whenever I can. You are truly a minister of grace. I feel your loss. I am grateful that God has chosen you as an ambassador of his word. Thank you for your missions and Thank God for everything. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus…my sins are washed clean by the blood of Jesus…I am righteous in God’s Christ!

  10. I am truly so sorry from the depth of my heart for your loss. I am so thankful for the article I just read. It applies directly to my son who is in a prison psychiatric unit. He has a mental illness and does not think clearly and he is digging a hole deeper and deeper out of his need to manipulate and control his situation. It is such a part of his personality that only God can heal his mind. I have been distressed since my visit with him on Sunday. I went to sleep this afternoon hanging on to my savior. I woke up with the tears still on my cheeks. It is a relief to know that each one of us are “on His mind”. It comforts me to be reminded of this. I earnestly cry out to God to give me the wisdom as to how to help him but it has come to the point that only he can help himself. And he can’t help himself unless God does for him what he is unable to do for himself. Sometimes when you face the reality of a situation it is heart wrenching. It is sad, sorrowful, painful and it crushes the heart. But my strength is being restored knowing that God is not going to permit him or anyone else to take his life unless it is His will. If that happens it will be terribly painful but I will know that God has just called him home where there will be no more pain. He loves the Lord but his mind is damaged. It breaks our heart. You said we need the mind of Christ to be able to provide assistance to people like my son. Will you pray with me for God to give me and his brother this wisdom? It will take divine healing…not medication…not counseling…not imprisonment to rehabilitate my son…it will take diving intervention, divine healing. I believe in miracles and I am asking God for a miracle! God bless you and keep you and comfort you.

  11. James, thanks for sharing your pain and grief concerning your daughter Robin in the recent messages I have received from you. I pray that God will comfort you and your family at this time. James, Robin is now free of pain and is in Heaven with the Lord.

    L.Agius (Sydney, Australia)

  12. Brother James and Sister Betty,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I love you guys and the world loves you too!!! Sending you love,peace, and Joy from Boston, Ma.

    ~Less <3 <3 <3

  13. James, Betty and family, Just know that many of us love you and Jesus in you. I lost a son when he was 43. It is hard, but each day God will give you His peace and love. He is faithful and true. Please know that you are in my prayers and know that you and your family are loved. God Bless You in Jesus name.

  14. James, Betty, Randy and all the Family members,

    I deeply understand the pain, sorrow, and brokenness you are experiencing at this time. I have suffered much in my lifetime, which includes many years of devastating child abuse at the hands of a step dad, raised in a cult, ripped apart by the loss of my grandparents, which I viewed as my parents, never knowing my father, rejected by my mother, and then warring against the powers of darkness due to the aforementioned. I have stood face to face with demons and wrestled with demonic forces in my sleep and waking hours. I have ministered for years stumbling under the weight of depression, anxiety, inward torment and pleading with the Lord hundreds and hundreds of time, WHY? WHY? WHY? Why should we be subjected to heartache and sorrow?

    The Lord revealed to me that all throughout scripture his tender hand of love, compassion, and overcoming character can only be manifested in us when we are permitted to engage hatred, apathy, sorrow, and the shadow of pain and death. It was when the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters, and he said, “Let there be light.” His tender hand of creative grace brought forth a divine creation out of chaos and nothing.

    When Jesus Christ descended to the dark deathly abyss of hell and stood face to face with Satan, the same Spirit quickened his lifeless body and the tender hand of grace brought him out of hell and the grave and manifested a divine created body that will never die.

    All of the Father’s children suffer the wrenching pain of tribulation in this life. But it is the Father’s pleasure to permit the darkest moments in our lives so he can extend his tender hand of grace through his Bride and heal up the brokenhearted and comfort those who morn. James, my brother, may each of you be comforted in the grace of Jesus Christ, may his love baptize your hearts and minds, and may his peace and tender grace continue to lead you beside still waters, guide you in the paths of righteousness for his namesake, and restore your souls. Let there be light!

  15. How precious you and Betty and your whole family are James. How Precious. God loves you soooo Much. More than you realise. His arms are stretched out to you. Come into them and place your head near His Heart. He loves you so much and wants to dry your tears and to heal your heart and Bettys and the Whole Family’s. His love is infinite. His love is like rain that falls and waters the Earth. His love is difficult for us to understand and it is full of understanding. He will Never Leave your Nor Forsake you. Two words stand out in the Word of God when Jesus felt Deep Compassion for others, “Jesus Wept.” His love surrounds you and yours and He is soooo Proud of His Special Son and Daughter. amen

  16. I am sorry that you and your family are hurting so much … I pray for God’s continued comfort for you family

  17. I am thinking of your family and praying for you always. God Bless this message you sent out today to all of those hurting and needing healing and renewed spirits.

  18. Thanks for sharing your heart and grief–it is one year ago today my husband of 50 years had a massive stroke.
    Six months later he passed away and went to ever be with the Lord. But today, in remembering everything
    that happened has really hit me hard–so I needed what you wrote. Thanks–
    My Love and prayers to you and Betty
    One of His Sheep, Dixie Sherman

  19. Thank you for this sermon. You are one of the ‘witnesses’ scripture talks about in my life.
    This message is a confirmation for something Jesus has been talking about to me.
    Walk in His Blessing.

  20. Dear James and Betty, Please know our hearts are broken for you and all of your family in this time of your great loss. As I think of Robin, I envision her worshipping her King in praise, in the dance, bowing before Him in awe of His glory and splendor, and falling before Him, casting her crowns at His glorious feet.
    I pray the Lord our God will continue to pour the balm of Gilead over you; bind up your broken hearts and comfort you according to His great faithfulness. He is the God of all comfort.
    II Corinthians 1:3 ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all Comfort,…”

  21. James I lead a Mending the Soul group at Gateway! I am going to start each group with a copy of this column! So inspiring! I have been praying for you and your family! It is going to be s grand in Heaven to be reunited with our lost children! Until then, persevere! God Bless you!