For the last few months, I have had probably the hardest times as a minister than I ever have had in the last 13 years of ministry work. I cannot recall ever going through so much. Without going into details, these last few days have been the hardest. But in the midst of all these things happening, I know God is with me. He will be with us no matter our trials. He will hold our hands no matter the struggles. He will scoop us up into His arms no matter whats being said or done. He will love me because He loved me first, before I loved Him. As I write this post after much reading, praying, and seeking, I am reminded of a scripture that I read recently. Psalms 51:17 that says:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (NIV)
In my Life Application Bible, it has a note that says:
God wants a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. You can never please God by outward actions – no matter how good – if your inward heart attitude is not right. Are you sorry for your sin? Do you really intend to stop? God is pleased by this kind of humility.
God wants a “contrite heart.” I didn’t know what this meant until I looked it up to refresh myself…it means to “be repentant” or to put it more simple “to be the end of ourselves and to allow the beginning of God’s freshness”
It is easy for people, during times of struggles, headaches, and hard experiences, to forget the importance of being broken, Lord knows..I have. Not many people would choose to be burdened with heartache or disappointment, but few that go through suffering fail to realize some value from those times…after the trial has passed.
As I was recently reflecting on my own times of “ups & downs…good days & bad days”, I read alot of things on the internet, in books, scriptures. And I discovered several important things to being broken before the Cross:
It makes and keeps one humble Humility is highly honored by God and is an attractive quality to others. You can never be tooo humble. When I think about this area, I am reminded of the prostitute that washed Jesus’ feet with her own tears and dried Jesus’ feet with her own hair. To do that required a heart full of humility.
It teaches important life principles Honestly, I have learned more from the hard times in my life than from the good times. Everyone needs to be looking into learning lessons from every experience, both bad and good. It has been said often that “without rain, flowers cannot grow.”
It brings repentance I often forget how much I need forgiveness. Brokenness, especially when caused by my own actions, reminds me I am hopeless apart from His grace.
It encourages a fresh start Starting over is not always as bad as it seems. Lord knows that new fresh starts are often needed in ministry. Satan works so much on us that we often forget that our time on earth is short. New beginnings start with the “renewal of our minds and hearts fixed on Him”
It invites grace Brokenness brings me to my knees. That’s never a bad place as long as my heart looks upward towards God. Being on your knees also shows humility. Being on your knees shows “a need” for something from God.
It shows humanity Brokenness reminds me that real people have struggles. Real people need a Savior. I am reminded of a church slogan in that past “Real people with real struggles worshiping a real God”
It welcomes the heart of God Psalm 34:18 says, “God is close to the broken-hearted.” To have a contrite heart means to clean yourself out and allow God to fill that empty space. To have a contrite heart means to “make Jesus more important that yourself” NOW…not later.
So may you have a humble heart today and everyday, as I will strive to do. May you welcome God into your life more and more everyday, as I will strive to do. May you remember that God is close to you in your struggles of life, as I will always remember too. May your remember that after the rain has happened, something more beautiful will come…as I will remember that too.