Grapes are crushed to make wine. Wheat is ground to make bread. Dr. Stanley teaches us that, in the same way, God will break our self-will in order to make us useful vessels for His kingdom. Discover how God molds His children.
So often, Christians struggle to get to what they perceive as the top. They forge their long list of accomplishments, perhaps with the hope that they will one day be able to hand it to God and say, “See what I’ve done for You?”
However, God never accepts us on the basis of what we’ve done; rather, He receives us because of what Christ has done on the cross (Eph 2:8-9). This is why He instructs us to stop depending on what we can accomplish and instead rely upon Him (Prov. 3:5-6). However, that’s not just for salvation but for every aspect of life. He calls us to repent of our sinful habits, self-reliance, and prideful desires until we can truly say, “All that I am and all that I have is God’s. He is in me and I am in Him, and that’s all that matters.”
What is God stripping away from your life? What do you trust in more than the Lord? God will break your dependence upon anything other than Himself no matter how long it takes or how difficult the process may be. He is committed to bringing you to a place of wholeness and spiritual maturity—conforming you to the likeness of His Son (Rom. 8:29)—so that He can work through you and bring others to wholeness and spiritual maturity through your testimony (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
Maybe you are facing a time of brokenness and it feels as though the emotional pain is more than you can bear. Or perhaps you are dealing with a series of disappointments that have completely undermined your sense of security. Instead of becoming fearful, ask the Lord to reveal what He is teaching you.
The apostle Paul faced such a time of suffering, and he wrote, “I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me” (2 Cor. 12:8). Although God did not remove the “thorn” from him, He did help Paul to understand that it was given to keep him from exalting himself and from relying on anything other than Christ (2 Cor. 12:7-11). The Lord also taught the apostle that His grace would always be sufficient for all of Paul’s weaknesses.
The same is true for you. Whenever you experience brokenness, God’s grace can sustain and mature you. He will show you how to relinquish your reliance on earthly forms of security and teach you how to rest in His wonderful provision and love. In that way, you grow in the likeness of Christ and are prepared for future service.
Peter wrote: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Pet. 4:12-13).
Keep in mind that God uses brokenness to deepen your understanding in at least three ways:
- You gain a new perspective of His mercy and provision and learn to depend on Him more.
- You develop a more complete comprehension of yourself.
- Your compassion and understanding for others’ suffering grows.
Are you facing a season of trials and brokenness? Then embrace the promise of Jeremiah 15:19: “If you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman.” That is, if you trust in God and learn from Him through your trial, He will reveal Himself to you and work through you in wonderful ways.
The Lord has one goal in mind for your brokenness: spiritual victory. Therefore, be confident that Jesus Christ can take your weakness and turn it into strength, hope, and honor.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.
This post is a part of the series Life Principles to Live By.