The Gift of Brokenness

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:3-4

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalms 51:17

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18

Do you feel like you’re falling apart inside? Like life has a personal vendetta against you? Consider it your moment of opportunity.

It sounds completely crazy, I know. But having a broken spirit can be a priceless gift.

Think about it. How many people have you met who choose to bottle their pain up instead of dealing with it? How many people destroy their bodies and shorten their lives using alcohol and drugs to cover up their hurts? How many crave the sensory overload of a night club but never ask themselves why? How many become pleasure addicts, seeking a dopamine rush from food, sex, gambling, compulsive shopping, or any number of quick fixes? If you’ve ever been addicted to anything, you know that addiction is slavery. (If you don’t have first-hand knowledge of that, this new show on TLC will convince you.) How many people out there would rather be enslaved to vices than face the truth of their brokenness, the truth that always screams louder in the stillness and quiet?

When you’re numb, or high, or otherwise over-stimulated, it’s easy to desensitize your heart to the pain and forget yourself. The fear of coming back to that quiet, still place keeps you running away. The saddest part is, when you run like that, like a dog chasing it’s tail, you’re only running from yourself.

But if you feel broken, and you think you’ve got nothing left, then you’ve actually got something that the people in denial don’t have: hope.

Yes, you read that right. Hope. Because if you’re not aware that you’re broken, you’ll never try to get better. As long as you refuse to own up to your brokenness, you will never stop looking for a fix. But, if you know you’re broken, you actually want to be fixed. You’ll ask the question that can change everything:

What do I do now?

When the jailer charged with keeping Paul and Silas imprisoned saw that they had been set free by an angel, he resolved to kill himself rather than face the punishment that awaited him; but when Paul told him all the prisoners were still there, the jailer fell at their feet and asked this very question.

“And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ (Acts 16:29-30).

Likewise, when Peter boldly laid out the gospel at Pentecost, the book of Acts tells us that those who accepted his message were “pierced to the heart” by God’s truth (Acts 2:38). Their sin was laid bare before them. Accepting their brokenness, they asked the apostles, “What shall we do?”

The answer?

  • Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
  • Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.  (Acts 16:31)

If you are broken, it’s because you haven’t found anything in the world that can give you what you need the most. Drugs will mask the pain. Pleasure-seeking will temporarily distract you from it. But when you’re ready to stop running and take an unflinching look at your broken life, the Savior is waiting to pick up the pieces.

And that’s why there’s nothing wrong with falling to your knees, if you fall at the feet of Jesus. If you’re broken, there is hope for you, if you will reach for the outstretched hand of God.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…”  (Revelation 3:20).


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