Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It Hurts So Good

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. “ John 12:24
We all need to die.  For salvation to occur, we must humble ourselves, admit our sin, repent of living for self, and trust fully in the work of Christ.  Justification requires death to self.
In the same way, sanctification (i.e. the process of becoming more and more like Jesus) requires death. For us to grow in Christ and increasingly yield to His will in our lives, we must die to pride and self-reliance.  2 Cor. 4:11 says, For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”
Spurgeon once said, “When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man and breaks him.” Brokenness is painful no matter what.  However, if we willingly yield to Christ, the brokenness process is a bit less painful.
“Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” Mt. 21:44
We can either “fall on this stone” of Jesus, and the brokenness process is less painful.  Or, we can be the one “on whom it falls” and thus be “crushed.”  The choice is ours.  Either way, God wants to break us, because being broken is the means by which we get be rebuilt according to His plan and purpose.  We can willfully submit to Him, or we can have Him crush us through circumstances that defeat our pride and self-dependence. 
I see this all the time in pastoral ministry.  If a person is willing to submit to God and walk in His will, there will still be pain, but it will be a lot less painful to be broken, because we are willingly yielding to Him.  On the other hand, if a person refuses to submit to God, goes his own way, lives a life of sin, then God will have to bring circumstances to bear, and often pain, to break this person of self-reliance. This is the person who is arrested for a DUI, has a spouse walk out on him for his abuse, hit rock bottom in his addiction, or “broken” through some other situation.
Never forget that God’s motivation in breaking us is love.  He loves us so much that He is committed to our development.  “The Lord disciplines those whom He loves… No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebr. 12:6, 11).  It hurts so good when we see the fruit that brokenness brings.
Finally, in humbling ourselves and going through the brokenness process, we are identifying with Jesus.  For He humbled himself to death, was broken for our sin, and in so doing accomplished eternal redemption. 
Is brokenness worth it?  You bet.  Does brokenness bring glory to God? Absolutely.  Be broken. Be like Jesus.  For God’s honor.