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Brokenness: A Prelude to RevivalBrokenness: A Prelude to Revival
by Robin Smith

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.

For Reflection:
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. Used by permission.

      Title: "Brokenness: A Prelude to Revival"
      Author: Robin Smith
      Publication Date: March 17, 2002

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Robin Smith is Worship Leader at Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio, Texas.


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