A. W. Tozer writes “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” The Root of the Righteous. Do you agree with this statement? Why does God often allow or cause hurts, frustrations, and failures in our lives? What is God’s purpose in the difficulties of our lives?
Blog with commentary:
If you have been reading my posts, you may be asking yourself why I focus on the darker themes of the Christian journey. Why numerous posts on being disappointed, broken, or dissatisfied with life/God? I write these articles to provide encouragement for those souls grapple with these issues. I am committed to being honest and transparent. Walking with Christ, seeking to honor and glorify Him is a serious, life changing commitment that requires sacrifice. The process of dying to self, facing our own sinful nature, and interacting with other fallen humans brings suffering and difficulty. Dying to self allows us to live for Christ!
The other choice is to remain static, unchanged, safe, and comfortable. If you truly know Jesus or have read any Gospel, then you will be aware that this isn’t the path to life with Christ! Comfortable, easy beliefs that don’t challenge you to become more like Christ is human centered religion that leads to separation and spiritual death. It’s bad to be stuck in a rut, what’s even worse is to know that you’re in a rut and to remain in the muck! Timothy Keller reminds us of the purpose of suffering:
Jesus Christ did not suffer so that you would not suffer. He suffered so that when you suffer, you’ll become more like him. The gospel does not promise you better life circumstances; it promises you a better life.Timothy Keller
What is Brokenness in the spiritual sense?
5 Defining Points from Mark Maulding’s: Spiritual Brokenness Can Give You Freedom
All five points are quoted directly as written in his article below: Please read for yourself!
What Brokenness IS
- A growing awareness that no matter how hard I try, my ability to make my life work is getting worse instead of better.
- An orchestrated work of God who loves me too much to permit my fleshly coping mechanisms to keep working for me.
- The results of the Holy Spirit moving me to the other side of brokenness so that I am changed by Him, not by my efforts.
- A growing experience of the reality of my union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
- Not a one-time event. Though many people in our ministry can point to a time when the process of brokenness brought about a huge spiritual paradigm shift in them, they eventually realize that there are other “miniature versions” of brokenness as part of their ongoing conformity to the image of Christ. See Romans 8:28-29.”
“True brokenness from God will produce lasting transformation in us. This is a result of a type of death in which our reliance on our flesh is exchanged for reliance on Christ in us, not only as our Savior and Lord, but our Life. Colossians 4:4 says it this way, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”Mark Maulding
Grounded in Truth
God grounds us in His reality and truth! This involves revealing to us our sinful and selfish nature. God has something bigger and greater for us than living life for ourselves and the world’s promise of ease, comfort, security, and prosperity. The world’s promise is a lie! The world leads to spiritual apathy, death, and ultimately eternal separation from God. All the things and pleasures of this world are temporary!
How does God save us from this “distraction” and death trap? By His grace and mercy, He redeems us. He rescues us from the present darkness and illusions of life apart from Him. One of His best tools is suffering, difficulties, and disillusionment! When life is easy and pleasant we forget just how much we need Him!
True eternal, abundant life comes through fellowship (relationship) with Christ. God’s truth sets us free! By accepting His grace and mercy we are free from trying to “save” ourselves or earn His merit. Accepting Christ means that we turn away from the world’s darkness to walk in Christ’s light. Suffering and brokenness (realizing we can’t fix or improve ourselves) draws us away from ourselves and this world to “refocus” on Christ.
Dangers of Self-Pity
Self-pity is a slow death. The first stage of self-pity is self-awareness. Self-awareness in this context means to focus on self instead of God.
God does something much greater than sympathize with our self-pity. He kills it! He redeems it, moves us forward and deeper in our love, dependence, and worship of Himself! Self-pity focuses on self and our personal interests, God’s grace and presence draws us to focus on His Glory, Holiness, Righteousness!
Brokenness is an gift when it leads us closer to our Savior and Lord and away from ourselves! God isn’t done with you. He restores the broken and molds the broken heart to be more like Him! We become more gentle, kind, compassionate, and loving with others when we experience brokenness. Brokenness breaks us from our self-pity and selfishness if we invite God to transform us through our hurts.
God’s Grip of Grace
God beckons that we come to Him “Just as I Am”. Take a moment to consider the lyrics and truths of this great hymn. Come to Him and welcome His pardon and cleansing!
God mercifully breaks us from our independence from Him
Are we following and loyal to Christ or our own ideas about Him? Any independence or self-reliance will come to light in our difficult moments. In whom are we entrusting ourselves? Are we living according to our own wisdom? Are we living for ourselves or our own ideas of what life should be about?
God’s presence liberates us from ourselves by uniting us with Christ. This is the role of God’s Holy Spirit. He convicts, teaches, and empowers us!
God brings us into “supernatural identification” with Christ. Peter is an example of this process. While Jesus was on earth, Peter loved Him impulsively. Peter mostly depended on his own wisdom, courage, and power. Yet, after Peter’s betrayal and Jesus’ restoration; Peter is forever changed. Consider the Peter we read about in Acts. He fearlessly proclaims Jesus even when threatened! Peter follows Christ to die by crucifixion. The man who once denied, ran, and hid faithfully followed Christ to his death.
Religion and human-centered religion leads us to self-dependence, human reason, and independence from God. We (in our human nature) eagerly desire to avoid suffering, loss, and difficulties. We foolishly seek comfort, ease, and our own desires. Surrender is God’s Way.
Paul, a bond servant of Christ
What is a bond servant? This term actually means a slave, someone who is devoted to being a servant. For more on what this means in context of the Old and New Testaments:
The truth is that we are either servants to our own fallen natures or Christ! Pick whom you will serve. You can live life for yourself, others, or you can die to all these things and live for Christ!
In the next post, I will explore the topic of suffering with Christ. May God speak truth and hope into your life as you daily seek Him! Forsaking the ways of this present darkness to walk in God’s Light of Truth! For His glory and your encouragement, I write these words: