Blessed and Broken
Storms in our lives including the troubling events of our day are meant for our transformation into the image of Jesus’ glory. Pain is not meant to snuff out our lamps; pain is the oil that makes the flame burn brighter. Saint Francis of Assisi is quoted as saying, “And in dying, we behold His glory.” It is the eternal law of redemption.
Sometimes the breaking is voluntary, as Jesus showed us by laying down His life in obedience to the Father. Matthew 26:26 says this: “As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to the disciples.” Jesus’ body was about to be broken on the cross. Because of His willing sacrifice, we can partake of His broken body, share in His suffering and multiply that life to others.
Later that night in the Garden when Judas came to betray Jesus with an army behind him, Jesus called him friend. In John 6:17 Jesus identified Judas as a devil. In John 12:6 He called him a thief. But on the night of His betrayal He saw Judas as a vehicle of God’s mission. The men who came to arrest Jesus were facilitating the plan of salvation God had for the whole world. Jesus knew the time of His breaking had come. Jesus saw Judas, the Temple guards and the others as messengers come to collect the Bread of Life and distribute Him to the world.
Peter tried to stop those things from happening. He wanted to spare Jesus the pain and humiliation. Jesus rebuked him. When the breaking also propels us into His greater plan, we must recognize and embrace it rather trying to escape. Jesus’ enemy became His “friend” because the situation helped facilitate His destiny.
Recognize when “Judas” turns up in the storm. There are times to rebuke the devil. There are times to calm the storm. And there are times to allow God to break us and give us out to others. If you have bound your trouble in prayers, cast it out, fasted and rebuked, confessed the Word and persevered and your circumstances have not changed, look again to see how this trial can make you bread for the hungry. When you cooperate with God’s breaking you can smile at your betrayer, welcome him and call him friend. That does not mean that he will destroy you. Rather, the destructive events in life can become the hidden agenda of God to transform us. In all God is “working together for our good.”
At the end of his life Paul wrote, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering.” The Lord allows storms that break us with a purpose of knitting us closer to Him. When a lamb or a sheep continually wanders off from the herd a good shepherd will carefully break its leg. The shepherd then has to carry the lamb until the break is healed. A sheep that spends weeks in the arms of its shepherd, fed out of the shepherd’s hand and dependent on him for every need, stays close after that.
The little boy who gave his lunch of bread and some fish to Jesus illustrated something for every Christian. Jesus received the willing offering such as it was with thanks to God. Likewise He receives us as we come in faith. Once we give our lives to Him they become His to bless and break in order that others may find Christ. The humility, strength, wisdom and peace gained in a right response to suffering will become the food we can offer to others who are struggling to find God.
God will multiply your willingness, faith and talents. He will also use your pain. Jesus told His disciples that day, “You give them something to eat.” The stores were closed and, besides, they did not have enough money to buy food for such a large crowd. In Jesus’ hands a little lunch offered by a child became more than enough. The twelve baskets the disciples collected were a sign that God would use their service to feed the hungry and that there would never be short supply of His Spirit.
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight” (Hosea 6:1–2). When our lives are submitted to His purpose and glory, the betrayals, hurts and injustices we experience will become opportunities to cooperate with God’s breaking. Like Jesus, we offer ourselves willingly so He can give us away. And in the process of being broken, we become more like Him. That’s the glorious testimony of the cross. Disappointment, defeat, delay, and even death are folded into that great change agent of eternity, and we come out in victory.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:17).
Adapted from Storm Warrior: A Believer’s Strategy for Victory
Let God Arise Prayer Relay: Our prayer focus this week is Come Holy Spirit—Spirit of Restoration and Recovery of our moral and economic foundations.
We are hungry and thirsty for His presence. Let us cry for revival! Let us cry for the rains of the Spirit to come and pour out for restoration of our hearts and our land. May America once again be the head and not the tail, the lender to many and the borrower from none, a refuge to the tired, the poor, the hungry, and a source of blessing to the weak, the poor, and orphans and widows around the globe.
Ezekiel 36:11 promises Israel that God will restore Israel and “do better for you than at your beginnings.” We pray this prayer for both Israel and for America in this season of prayer. May God Arise and scatter our enemies, and restore to us all that the enemy has stolen. May Israel and America be blessed and be a blessing to the nations!
Also read our Let God Arise Article.
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, 8/9/2012