A Broken Heart

There is value for broken hearts in the kingdom of God.

#1 First of all, the value of a broken heart lies in humbling us before God.

Psalm 51, for example, is the song of a broken heart; that of David. He was a man after God’s own heart meaning that he had given first place in his heart for the things of God. Yet after he had become king and God had promised him a kingdom for ever, David’s heart was not that careful in the matters of God as he was before. So, in one moment of coveting after the beauty of Bathsheba who was bathing, he desired her and slept with her. And to cover up the fact that she got pregnant by him, he had her husband Uriah killed by the sword of the enemies.

It was almost a year later that he came to realize that he had sinned against God. The child born to him died. He was broken-hearted. He yearned to get back into a right relationship with God. It was then that he understood that more than animal sacrifices what God desired was a broken heart. That means that God desired His people to come to Him with a humble attitude. When you come to God with a broken heart, God does not despise you (Psalm 51:17). But He forgives your sins and accepts you once again and gives you back again the joy of salvation.

#2 Secondly, the value of a broken heart lies in its nearness to God.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV) says, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Often we conclude that God has forsaken us when troubles overtake us. We refuse to get near to God. We try to find help from our friends. But we don’t find the comfort we expected. In those moments we might not be conscious of the presence of God with us. But He is near.

We need to ask ourselves this question: “Without having gone through the darkest valleys of life, would we ever have known the nearness of God?” Isn’t this nearness what gave comfort to David? He wrote in another Psalm, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4b). God draws near to us when we are crushed by life’s sufferings. For Jesus Himself had felt the forsaken experience on the cross. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). Therefore He sympathizes with our weakness and draws near to us because He understands that in such moments of brokenness what we desire most is the Presence of God with us.

#3 Thirdly, the values of a broken heart lies in making us useful in God’s kingdom.

Unlike how the world places a value on the best things of the world, God places a value on broken things. Those things that are foolish and despised; those things that look unpromising, these are the very things that God finds useful for His kingdom. The man Peter had a broken heart because he had denied knowing Jesus. Yet Jesus had a special word of encouragement for him after His resurrection. He became a might pillar of the Church. A proud Peter confident of his own abilities, instead of being a help in God’s kingdom would have been a hindrance. But when brokenness came into his life, he became useful to God.

We too have many shortcomings. They can destroy our effectiveness in God’s kingdom. This is because we come up with our own plans and ideas instead of relying on the wisdom of God. In other words we are full of ourselves. An emptying process has to happen. And it does not happen easily because we hold on to our right to do what we want. It is then that God breaks us through difficulties, hardships, criticism, failure, sickness etc. When that happens it is unpleasant. Instead of being busy for God’s kingdom, we lick our wounds and sit in the side benches. And then when the breaking is fully done, God starts rebuilding. He brings healing and restoration. And then suddenly we find creative powers released within us. We find that we have been given a greater measure of God’s wisdom and a fullness of the Spirit of God. And we are enabled to do God’s work without giving the impression that we are carrying a heavy burden.

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