On the rare occasions that I experience cold weather, I am always reminded of Psalm 147:15-17 where the Psalmist declares about The Lord that...
"He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?" - Psalm 147:15-17(ESV)
The answer to the rhetorical question is of course...no one. And the reason no one can stand before "His" cold is because no one can stand before God's power and might. As we know, cold weather can be extremely powerful and severe; bringing entire cities, states and even nations to it's knees. And yet, the "crystals of ice" that are capable of so much damage are hurled down by God like "crumbs" not boulders. In other words, the sheer power of the cold that we may experience is nothing compared to the fullness of God's power. And while our bodies may tremble before the cold, the tragic truth is that the human heart, apart from the warm grace of God in Christ, is too cold and hard to feel anything or to tremble as it should before Him (see Jer. 17:9, Eph. 4:18).
One of the effects of the cold is that it causes things to harden. The hardening and deadening effects of the cold are a painful picture of what it looks like for fallen man to be seperated from God, The Creator and source of all life and goodness. It is generally understood that cold is really just the absence of heat. Similarly, when God withdraws His grace and gives someone over to themselves it is nothing short of terrifying, like in Psalm 81:12 where The LORD says, "my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels" (see also Romans 1:24, 28-31, 9:15-18). No coat, no gloves, no building, and no fireplace can thaw a stone-cold heart.
And it's right about now that you might be asking the same question that was put before our Lord Jesus, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:26-27 ESV) Reader, that is the same glorious hope that shines across the page of Psalm 147 in verse 18, because right after asking about who could ever stand before His cold, we read...
"He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow." -Psalm 147:18 (ESV)
So, not only does he have the power to give snow, scatter frost and hurl down ice but He also has the sovereign power and the authority to melt them! And not only can He do it but He has promised that He will do it and in Christ by the power of The Spirit He has done it! He declared through the prophet Ezekiel, "I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26). And this is exaclty what we see happening at Pentecost in Acts 2 when at the close of his sermon the apostle Peter says...
"Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” - Acts 2:36-39 (ESV)
Even the coldest of hearts is no match for the power of sovereign grace. No heart is too hard, or too cold. Not even yours. We may not always feel as warm to the things of God as we once were. We are forgetful and ever so prone to wander but we have a good Shepherd; THE Good Shepherd (John 10:10-11) to faithfully lead our hearts back to the warmth of His loving embrace (Psalm 23, Phil. 1:6, 1 Cor. 1:8).
"Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God’s word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself. " - Matthew Henry