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The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
There is an element of our Christian walk that has received little press, little attention and little teaching — brokenness. It is unpleasant to think about and even more difficult to talk about. Yet, brokenness is so valued by God, that He repeatedly mentions it in His Word. Some of the best promises to be found in Scripture are intertwined with brokenness.
God loves brokenness and its accompanying humility. It draws Him near to us, and us to him, like a magnet and metal.
For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15 NRSV)
Brokenness beckons His attention and moves His hand. He becomes actively involved in the lives of the brokenhearted. He comes to bind up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). He gives them His Kingdom…for He can trust them with it (Matthew 5:3).
So, what is crushing in on you? What is causing your heart to hurt? What trial are you currently walking through? What is commanding your attention and causing you injury? Are you tempted to be discouraged… downcast… frustrated… weary?
Stop and think a moment. Instead of looking up from a human perspective and asking why, ask God to show you His perspective. You know it tends to be divinely opposite ours. He looks at things so much differently than we do. That is why He wants to give us fresh vision, fresh sight, and fresh insight using His Word. He speaks to us, and to our hearts, through that Word.
He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
Remember this: He is near to the brokenhearted. It may not feel like it. You may not sense it. But God’s Word is more true than your feelings and human senses. His Word is truer than your circumstances and situations.
|Your trials can be a loving tool in the hands of God…|
Your trials can be a loving tool in the hands of the Great Restorer to draw you close to Him, so He can bind up your wounds, heal you, and revive you. Your brokenness, held before the Lord, is a heartfelt invitation to God that ensures His nearness and His active hand in your daily life. Then His ministry will be magnified through you.
“My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
- That is why Gideon needed only 300 men to rout an army of thousands.
- That is why Moses, with his hands outstretched to the Lord in the presence of His enemies, was able to cause the defeat of that enemy and the parting of an entire sea.
- That is why a small boy named David was able to kill a lion, a bear and a giant.
- That is why David’s three mighty men were able to penetrate the camp of the enemy.
- That is why Joseph was elevated from the depths of a prison to the rank of second in command in Egypt.
- That is why Jehoshophat needed only a handful of worshippers to defeat an army of 100,000 men.
- And that is why Jesus needed only 12 men to turn the world right side up.
Remember what Isaiah wrote concerning Jesus? Remember the prophetic identification of Jesus, God’s great servant?
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried, yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:3-4)
One of the hardest aspects of your heart breaking is the misunderstanding of friends and family, of brothers and sisters whom you serve. If you find yourself hurting, misunderstood, discouraged, despised, and grieving, don’t give up. Instead,… be encouraged, you are walking the path of the Savior. Be assured… He is near, closer than you think. Be expecting… He is coming soon to bind up your wounds, to heal you and to revive you. His ministry will be magnified through you.
Be broken, but open to God.
O Jesus, when I realize the hurts, discouragement and grief that You endured in Your mission to redeem me, I am overwhelmed. You were familiar with much grief. Lord, I know that Your heart still breaks over the hardness of man’s heart toward You. I ask You, Lord, to break my heart with what breaks Yours. I bring the pieces of my brokenness and wounded heart to You. I ask that You come and bind up my wounds. Cleanse my hands; cleanse my heart. And make me wholly devoted to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 34:19 — the Lord rescues the righteous from each and every trouble.
Psalm 147:3 — God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 51:16-17 — the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.
Isa. 61:1 and Luke 4:17-21 — Jesus was sent to bind up the brokenhearted.
Matthew 5:3 — The brokenhearted are blessed. God’s Kingdom belongs to them.
2 Corinthians 1:4 — when we receive comfort from God, we are to comfort others.
© 2002, Robin Smith.
Title: “Brokenness: A Prelude to Revival”
Author: Robin Smith
Publication Date: March 17, 2002
In July, 1959 Martyn Lloyd-Jones and his wife Bethan were on vacation in Wales. They attended a little chapel for a Sunday morning prayer meeting and Lloyd-Jones asked them, “Would you like me to give a word this morning?” The people hesitated because it was his vacation and they didn’t want to presume on his energy. but his wife said, “Let him, preaching is his life” (see note 1). It was a true statement. In the preface to his powerful book, Preaching and Preachers, he said, “Preaching has been my life’s work … to me the work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called (see note 2).
Many called him the last of the Calvinistic Methodist preachers because he combined Calvin’s love for truth and sound reformed doctrine with the fire and passion of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival (see note 3). For thirty years he preached from the pulpit at Westminster Chapel in London. Usually that meant three different sermons each weekend, Friday evening, and Sunday morning and evening. At the end of his career he remarked, “I can say quite honestly that I would not cross the road to listen to myself preaching” (see note 4).
But that was not the way others felt. When J. I. Packer was a 22-year-old student he heard Lloyd-Jones preach each Sunday evening during the school year of 1948-1949. He said that he had “never heard such preaching.” It came to him “with the force of electric shock, bringing to at least one of his listeners more of a sense of God than any other man” he had known (see note 5).
God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless.
On August 28th, 1982, my lovely bride Lois and I were married at Salem Baptist Church in New Brighton, MN.
Each year with Lois gets better and better!
By Ray Ortlund
“If we look through the whole Bible and observe all the examples of prayer that we find there recorded, we shall not find so many prayers for any other mercy as for the deliverance, restoration and prosperity of the church and the advancement of God’s glory and kingdom of grace in the world. . . . The Scripture does not only abundantly manifest it to be the duty of God’s people to be much in prayer for this great mercy, but it also abounds with manifold considerations to encourage them in it and animate them with hopes of success. There is perhaps no one thing that the Bible so much promises, in order the encourage the faith, hope and prayers of the saints, as this . . . . For undoubtedly that which God abundantly makes the subject of his promises, God’s people should abundantly make the subject of their prayers. It also affords them the strongest assurances that their prayers shall be successful.”
All revivals down through history have begun by people, even five or six gathering together, saying, “God, we’re not satisfied with the status quo.”
We live in a day where all the attention and emphasis is on the cleverness and skill of the speaker. Yet at the same time, all the statistics show that the average American Christian’s spiritual health is going down in every category measured.
One of the reasons for this problem is that we’re putting all of our eggs in the basket of oratory and worship songs. There’s a precious time for all of that, but there’s also a time to get alone with God and say, “God, I can’t make it without You! God, You have to come and help!”
Paul, the greatest apostle—maybe the greatest Christian—ever known, reminded the believers in every letter he wrote, “I pray for you.” Why? Paul knew that his preaching alone wasn’t enough, but that teaching and prayer have to go together.
In particular, notice that Paul prayed for believers to be recipients of something called dunamis, or “power,” as it is translated in our Bibles. This is the Greek word from which we get the word dynamite. It is the explosive power of God in our lives.
Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). In other words, we will receive the ability and might to do things we can’t do in our own strength.
Some people say, “But I’m a Christian. I’m a child of God; Christ lives inside of me. I already have all the power I need.” But Paul prayed for these believers, that “by his power [God] may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”
So even though Christ lives in us, we need to pray for God’s power every single day. In fact, I’m feeling more and more as I walk with the Lord that I don’t just need it day by day—I need it hour by hour. I need God to impart fresh power, fresh wind, fresh fire.
“Revival is the reformation of the Church for action.”
“Revival is a sudden bestowment of a spirit of worship upon God’s people.”
By Trevin Wax on Aug 22, 2010 //
We rejoice, heavenly Father,
in the truth that Jesus rose from the dead.
Yet we see that this is not simply a truth in the public arena of history
to be absorbed quickly and then set to one side.
For if indeed your dear Son, the God-man, rose from the dead,
then everything is changed.
His victory over death is confirmed.
The sacrifice he provided has been vindicated.
Already he is the head of a new humanity that will one day share in his resurrection-likeness.
And his people, heavenly Father,
rejoice to bow before him and cry, “My Lord and my God.”
Grant that each of us may cry,
“Forgive my sin as you forgave the sin of that paralyzed man,
my Lord and my God.”
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
– adapted from D.A. Carson’s The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story
© Copyright by Trevin Wax
May the Lord Jesus send revival to His Church!
Come Lord Jesus Come!